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The Gifts and Challenges of Polyamory

Lately, especially within the newer generations, polyamory is becoming a much more common practice… A much more common relationship structure. What is polyamory? Literally translated, polyamory means “many love”. Most of the time, this implies having intentional, intimate emotional and/or romantic and/or sexual relationships with more than one partner at the same time. This being the case, all relationships in the individuals’ life are technically “open”. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Truth About Polyamory. 
There are many forms of polyamory. And each one of these forms comes with its own unique set up upsides and downsides. But in this article, we are going to look at some of the main upsides and downsides, gifts and challenges of polyamory in general. 
First, let’s start with the downsides or challenges of polyamory.
Polyamory does not get you away from relationship dysfunction. No matter what relationship arrangement you are engaged in, you’re still dealing with people. This means, you’ll still be dealing with things like incompatibility and with people’s relationship opposing patterns. You cannot un-do thousands of years’ worth of programming for monogamous relationships, and therefore the issues that programming creates, when trying to live a polyamorous lifestyle. To give you just two examples, we have been completely programmed into our self-esteem being about being chosen by someone to be their one and only. This makes it so that even when we choose a polyamorous lifestyle, we will experience a self-esteem dip when someone chooses more than just us. And we have been programmed to believe that we only have security in a relationship when we are someone’s only sexual partner. Exclusivity is currently what we base our security on. Exclusivity is what people often derive a sense of significance and specialness from. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Why you Need to Separate Security From Sexuality in Relationships. The very structure of monogamy is what we have built our relationship security on. So, even when you choose a polyamorous lifestyle, you will experience deep insecurity. Being polyamorous means working on every single layer of programming, so as to feel good and secure in a structure that we have been programmed to believe is completely insecure and even bad and wrong. This means, polyamory implies constant self-work. And the reality is that this social programming for monogamy can make polyamory so hard and so painful, that it is easier and even preferable for people to simply go back into the monogamous structure of relationship. Something we are now re-wired for and a structure we understand.         We live in a mono - normative world. Society doesn’t immediately change with the times. Human society is currently based on monogamous relationship. Monogamy is assumed. Choosing multiple partners is still seen as immoral. And this mono normative mentality creates tons of pain. There can be real consequences for deciding to live a polyamorous lifestyle. Things like conflict, pain and loss of relationships with people and groups who do not support it. Being treated like a threat. Being legally unprotected. Being unable to legally marry more than one partner. Non monogamy being considered adultery in many places, regardless of whether it is consensual or not, which can come with very serious ramifications. People not recognizing or acknowledging the significance of a breakup or a death you experience with a partner because “you have other partners.” Home denials and evictions and other home related issues because houses and housing laws are built around the nuclear family. Getting fired or experiencing career challenges. Custody battles. Being unable to bring more than one partner or spouse to social functions and events. Risking your social status. Medical discrimination. Being denied access to partners in hospital settings. No longer seeing yourself represented in culture. And all of this can create a sense of being separated from society, not belonging, being unsafe, being alone with no one to turn to; and other people being against you.                 It increases the complexity in your relationship life. It is an intense lifestyle that can become very time consuming. There is nothing simple about polyamory. The things you would do with one person to make one relationship work, you need to do with several people. You are juggling multiple people and their feelings and needs. Being polyamorous comes with community drama. Most polyamorous dynamics are full of gossip and complex relational behaviors. It can increase the potential for conflict. On top of this, one element of complexity that is often overlooked, is that in most polyamorous arrangements, everyone in a polycule is in some kind of relationship with each other. This means, you can’t just break up with a partner and go your separate ways. They have a close relationship with everyone else. So, you will be around them and see them, whether you like it or not. And setting a boundary not to, puts everyone else in the middle and in a difficult situation. Complexity can either be life enriching or crushing pressure depending on the many different factors of your life. If you want the benefits of polyamory, it will come with the downsides of drama and complexity.     The polyamory community is full of amazing people who are masters of relationship. It is also full of people who are superbly relationally dysfunctional and who use non-monogamy as a way to be able to live their dysfunctionality, rather than to change it. For example, people who want to take zero responsibility for another person’s needs and feelings, gravitate towards a polyamorous lifestyle because they feel they can have relationships without being relied on. And people with an avoidant attachment style gravitate towards a polyamorous lifestyle because they can more easily avoid feelings of enmeshment. And people for whom sex is an addiction gravitate towards a polyamorous lifestyle because they have a potentially endless supply. Etc.  Jealousy and insecurity are serious issues in polyamorous relationships. Some of this is due to what we make things mean because of our monogamous programming, rather than what it inherently does mean. But the reality is that you will be confronting enhanced issues of jealousy and enhanced issues of relationship insecurity in polyamorous relationships. The normal go to solutions to for creating security and decreasing jealousy in relationships apply only to monogamous relationships, and by definition oppose the practice of polyamory. Because currently, instead of relying on the quality of the relationship itself and the conduct of the other person for a sense of security, people rely on the structure of monogamy itself to be what gives security and helps people avoid jealousy.     The potential of preventing growth and improvement. When we commit to one person, we have the potential to prevent growth and keep each other stuck by simply adapting to and finding ways to cope with the other person’s behavior, so as to maintain the relationship, no matter how dysfunctional it is. But it can work the other way as well. We also have the potential to grow and become more and to evolve and improve together, because the relationship requires that we do so. If we just bounce out on someone the minute things get hard, that path of growth and change does not occur. Even if we aren’t bouncing out, and are instead simply adding other people, we may be preventing that growth by doing so. For example, in a monogamous relationship, if one person is emotionally unavailable, they may need to work to become emotionally available, something that greatly benefits their life and causes the relationships to become deeper. But if you simply add an additional partner, who is emotionally available, that growth and depth in the relationship may never occur.  A serious lack of assistance for relationship problems. For poly people, there is a shortage if not an absence of role models. There are hardly any relationship therapists that are trained to deal with poly relationships and so most traditional relationship advice does not apply. Almost every book that offers solutions for relationships is about monogamous relationships only. And the likelihood of getting shamed and discouraged from your polyamorous lifestyle when you do seek help, is high. There will be a feeling of being the first to face a problem and of having to piece things together to solve the problem on your own. There are no guard rails for polyamorous relationships.   Depending on the type of polyamory that you are engaging in, sexually transmitted infection is an increased risk. As is dealing with the fact that your sexual choices impact many people, not just one. And every person involved will have their own opinions and boundaries about this. Making it complicated.    It’s very easy to get stuck only socializing with your polycule. There is only so much time and with multiple partners, each person needs some of that time. You can easily feel maxed out socially with solely your polycule. With the complexity as well, it is all too easy to find yourself only spending time with those people, and not expanding your social sphere. And this can also mean you end up with no monogamous people in your social network.   If the polyamorous arrangement isn’t a closed loop dynamic, it is easy for energy and resources and value to be added to a person or to a relationship and to have it not come back in a beneficial energy exchange, but rather for that energy and those resources and that value to be given to someone else. For example, a person might pour themselves into really being there for one of their partners, only to have that person pour their energy into being there not for them, but for another one of their partners. This can easily create a self-serving set up where a person just takes. It can also create a set up where the energy exchange element of a relationship goes way, causing a resource and energy bleed. And in a lack of good energy exchange, ultimately the relationship dissolves.     And now let’s look at some of the main upsides or gifts of Polyamory.
Polyamory is a more natural relational style for a physical human. But the structure of society has been set up completely around monogamy and the nuclear family. And people have been intensely programmed for that new structure. People born into society simply assume that society was set up this way because this is what is natural for people. But really, their wires have been crossed and this causes what is natural, to feel unnatural. When we switched from a foraging lifestyle to an agrarian lifestyle and property ownership became the most important thing, the structure of society changed and with it, our relationship practices. We are now completely programmed against polyamory. And you can’t just un-do this programming overnight. This programming makes what is natural, feel bad to a person. But programming aside, when a being lives in-alignment with what is natural to them, their wellbeing increases.     More resources. Added support. People in today’s world are severely under-resourced. They have become more and more separated from each other and have gotten further away from the tribal structure/community structure which is natural to them. The problem with this is that one person cannot reliably provide all the needs that you have from other people. One person cannot offer us all the resources that multiple people, or tribe once offered to us. When you include more people in your life, naturally you have more resources. More people to solve a problem. More people to help out. More people to meet any one specific need you might have. More of a guarantee of availability. Access to and support from people with varied skills. You end up more satiated, less having to fend for yourself and in many ways more secure regarding your needs being met.   Polyamory affords much more freedom. The restrictions that monogamous relationships require a person to comply to, no longer reign supreme. And there is room for creative arrangements that accommodate for each person’s unique personality and needs and desires and strengths and weaknesses.  The pressure on each person in the relationship goes down and there is more space for potential incompatibilities as well as bad days. This goes hand in hand with the last point. In a monogamous relationship arrangement, quite often, a person’s one partner becomes their only source of security and their only source from which to get their needs met. This means, if there are any relationship ruptures of any kind with that one person, or if that person becomes ill or dies, suddenly, we lose all our sense of security in life. And we are suddenly starved of our needs. Most of us live our lives in red-zone level insecurity because of this. We are under-resourced and many of us are chronically anxious in our relationships and in the world. We become desperate and furious with our partner when he or she can’t reliably be there for us in the exact way we need them to be. This means, we put A LOT of pressure on our monogamous partner. When a person has multiple partners, this red zone panic tends to go down, because they are experiencing more abundance relative to their needs being met and thus feel more secure in that way. And there is much less pressure on the people in their life because of it. More room for bad days to happen, without it compromising the relationship. Much more room for finding truly creative arrangements that accommodate for incompatibilities that would make a monogamous relationship arrangement impossible.  Polyamory is an absolute recipe for personal growth. Having multiple partners will force the exposure of your shadows, blind spots and relationship baggage. It will force you to become good at communicating. It will force you to become aware. It will force you to master relationship skills. It will force you to define yourself. It is an aggressive path of growth and self-development. The potential for an enhanced sense of security in life and in relationships. We have discussed how polyamory threatens security. But it can work the other way as well. Think of how much more secure you would feel in life if you felt like you had a secure attachment to multiple people rather than just one. And if you felt like there were many people committed to being there for you when you need them, rather than just one. To get a felt perception of this, imagine that you were a child growing up in a tribe, and try to feel the security of knowing that if this person wasn’t providing a sense of deep understanding, someone else was. Or if that person wasn’t providing protection, someone else was. And if multiple people were there to provide the same thing, you would simply feel more of an abundance of that thing, and therefore less and less insecurity about it. Though polyamory challenges our sense of stability and security, it also has the potential to make us much more stable and more secure. People can be truly accepted and appreciated for what they are, rather than end up in pain because of what they are not. In monogamous relationships, all the focus is on finding Mr. or Mrs. right, someone who checks all the boxes. There is great pressure to get a person to change to be what you want them to be. A great many people would be fabulous partners in one way and terrible partners in another, causing a person looking for a monogamous partner to have to write them off. But with polyamory, you can be with one person who is a fabulous partner in one way and another that is fabulous in a different way. This opens the door for opportunity to enjoy someone because of what they are, rather than to suffer because of what they are not. It also prevents all people involved from falling into the trap of trying to be something that they aren’t. And from that all too common negative self-esteem spiral that happens when you are not what someone wants or needs you to be.  Dynamic relationships that do not become stuck or stale. To generalize, in polyamorous relationships, people are consistently re-appraising their relationship. And people are much more honest with each other. They are consistently working on things to make their relationships better. There is less coping going on and more proactive action to make changes in the relationship. Things do not fester, unresolved the way they do in monogamous relationships. Way less assumptions. Way more clear agreements. In monogamous relationships, people assume. They assume that they are on the same page with their partner and that they have the same vision as their partner and the same rules and boundaries and ideas of what is ok and not ok and what should happen as their partner does. This usually results in disaster. In polyamorous relationships, rather than assuming, there is a lot of communication to get on the same page and lots of negotiating to establish clear and mutually agreed upon guidelines and boundaries, so that all people involved can co-exist in a mutually pleasing way.  Relationships that are based off of expanded love and inclusion. It is actually unhealthy that people’s definition of love revolves around excluding others. And it is not true that love is a finite resource to divide up rather than one that can grow and grow. Polyamorous relationships don’t operate according to the mentality of exclusion or scarcity around love and caring. In polyamorous relationships, love is not treated as a zero-sum resource.  Expanded opportunities. Each relationship, especially each partnership, is a kind of opportunity for new and different things. Things like new and different resources. New and different things to learn. New and different experiences etc. In monogamous relationships, people limit and cut off those opportunities for the sake of their primary relationship. A Polyamorous lifestyle makes it so you can take many more opportunities. Opportunities that may prove incredible for all people involved, not only you.    It would be a wonderful thing if polyamory did not come with contrast. Alas, contrast is a fundamental part of this time space reality. This means monogamy comes with gifts and challenges. And polyamory comes with gifts and challenges. And so, it is important to look directly at that contrast, so that you can choose what is truly right for you.               

See The Difference Between Then and Now (A Spiritual Practice)

In this life, when patterns are not changed, such as when traumas are not resolved or when a person repeats a certain behavior due to lack of awareness, or when a person maintains a certain belief etc. Those patterns not only become stronger and are therefore magnified, they repeat. This is true across time and this doesn’t just apply to individuals. This applies to the universe at large, to the world at large, to species, to races, to societies, to family lines etc. There is an up-side to this and a downside to this. The downside is that this can turn life into a true hell spiral. You can experience something acutely painful and then, not change the pattern, so it repeats again in some way. And when it does, it has the potential to strengthen your beliefs, words and actions, thus feeding into the pattern more rather than changing it; making it repeat again, only worse. And this vicious cycle can keep happening, causing a person to become worse and worse. Often it can feel like it is happening to you, like a cruel curse, especially when you can’t work out what to think, say and do differently to change the pattern, so it doesn’t repeat again. And the reality is, even when you do make changes, sometimes there are multiple changes that need to take place for there to be a full pattern change rather than a partial one. So, it can feel like the pattern keeps repeating, despite all our efforts to make the pattern change.   
 The upside to this, is that when a negative pattern repeats, this is an opportunity for awareness. It is also an offering to think, say and do differently, so as to change the pattern and have a different, improved experience; so as to consciously create your preferred future. You can think of it as the universe offering you a built-in structure for awakening, expansion and healing into your life experience. 
When we are committed to awakening, to becoming fully conscious and then to consciously creating our life experience or heal, a great deal of our focus goes to recognizing these patterns in life that are repeating and consciously making changes, so that the patterns change for the better; so that life experience is improved. This means, if you are on the path of spiritual awakening, the path of self-development, or the path of healing, you are most likely putting a great deal of effort into recognizing how the past and the now are the same.
Recognizing how the past and the now are the same, is very important. Part of the problem in this life is that people fail to recognize how the past and the now are the same, and therefore fail to see patterns repeating and therefore fail to see where things are headed. But what is often overlooked is that it is also very important to see how the past and now are NOT the same. Seeing the difference between then and now, is what will allow you to actually see your progress, perceive your empowerment, resource improvement and not become re-traumatized by the feeling that no matter what you do, you are re-experiencing and will re-experience something painful and unwanted. Maybe even something painful enough that you feel you literally can’t go through it again. 
So that you can understand what I mean, here is an example. Madeline is one of those people who is very dedicated to awareness work. She is great at recognizing patterns that are repeating. She is amazing at seeing how the past is the same as the now. Some years ago, she realized that her boyfriends all end up intermittently emotionally disconnecting from her, leaving her alone in life. And she realized that this is a pattern repetition (or a mirror as it is often called) that began with her father, who was intermittently emotionally disconnected from her and flip flopped violently between being engaged and disengaged. This pattern has put Madeline in absolute hell. Just like before when she was a child, she feels like she is totally powerless to the other person’s disconnection. Just like before, she is in danger because a disconnected person can’t see or feel her enough to do what is right for her rather than what is wrong for her. Just like before, she is emotionally alone and is filled with that skin crawly feeling of being alone and unsafe, even when the other person is in the room, because it is just a body there with her, no actual presence. Just like before, the intermittent pattern started with something emotionally shocking happening to the other person in their life that she could not control, so just like before, there was nothing she could do to prevent it and now she feels doomed to be emotionally abandoned, no matter how hard she works to create closeness with the other person. 
Madeline is especially frustrated because she has been working on this pattern over the course of multiple relationships. She has been doing soul retrieval work on it. She has been doing parts work to integrate split aspects of her consciousness that pertain to it. She has been identifying red flags in men that might indicate that they can emotionally disconnect, so she chooses emotionally present partners instead. She has been leaving relationships when a man disconnects and puts no effort into re-connecting, rather than staying and incessantly pulling them to be connected again. Essentially she is no longer stepping into the pattern of taking full responsibility for the connection for the both of them. She has been seeing a somatic therapist to get help healing her insecure attachment anxiety. And at this point, Madeline feels like no matter what she has done or will do, she is powerless. Her childhood nightmare is happening all over again, and will continue to happen. And no amount of effort that she puts into preventing it, will actually work. So, she is being swallowed up by doom. 
Madeline has done one part of awareness work, but not the other. She has become aware of how the patterns are the same and how they are repeating. She sees what is the same about then and now. But she has not yet become aware of how the patterns are different and how they have changed. She does not yet see the difference between then and now. 
When Madeline does this part of awareness work, she becomes aware that the pattern is actually improving. It is repeating, but in a different way than before, which means that she is simply in a different layer or aspect of healing and of changing the pattern. And that in that, is the promise of it getting better. Here are some of the things that she realizes when she does this part of the awareness work: Madeline realizes that what is different is that she was a child then, and she is an adult now. Why that is important is that before, she literally was entirely at her father’s mercy. Her mother was not in the picture, nor was any extended family. She had no other resources as a child. As an adult, she can go out and find other resources. If one man is choosing to be disconnected, she can decide with her free will to either stay there waiting for him to reconnect again, or simply withdraw her focus from him and go find a different person who is choosing to be connected. Madeline sees that her current boyfriend knows he is disconnected, despite not doing anything about it. He is acknowledging it, which is different than her father and different from any other man that came after her father, but before him. Madeline sees that when she was a child and her father disconnected, she was literally all alone emotionally. Now, she has a best friend who she sees every day and who is completely there with her, so she is not all alone. Madeline sees that she no longer feels it is her fault that the man in her life disconnected, which was the problem for years. So, the pain of self-blame is no longer part of the equation. She sees that this time, she is in relationship counseling and she is not alone to deal with her boyfriend’s disconnection. Their therapist is on top of it and is taking pressure off of Madeline by being the one to confront him on it and help him to change what he is doing. This is something she desperately needed when she was a child and was all alone with the pressure of trying to get her adult father to come back to her emotionally, so it is actually a healing experience she hasn’t been resourcing. Madeline realizes a great many other things. But you get the point. That heavy doom she was feeling, lifts enough for her to perceive her progress and to feel less re-traumatized by the current form of repeat she is in. In fact, realizing the difference between then and now, IS a crucial part of Madeline coming out of her PTSD state, and experiencing the pattern change so as to experience healing. 
Your assignment, is to take whatever repeat experience you have recognized that you are having, and to consciously look for the differences between that experience then and this experience now. Write down as many as you can. The more, the better. If you want to involve other people in this exercise, feel free to do so. Because other people are less identified, they can often see our patterns, including pattern changes, clearer than we can. Some examples of things to consider might be how the current person involved is different than the original person the pattern started with, or even from other people in the past that have been a part of this repeat pattern. What different or more or better resources you have available to you now, this includes people. What smaller healing experiences you might be getting within the larger painful pattern. The potentials that exist now that were not even possibilities before. What knowledge do you have now, compared to before. What is different about your surroundings and environment than it was before. What the people who are players in the current pattern repeat are doing that is different than what those that were part of it before did. What you can do right now in this situation compared to what you could do before. What is going right in your life, that may not have been going right before when the pattern occurred. What you are doing in this current situation that is better or more empowered than what you did in the past etc.  
When it comes to awareness work, it is important to see the full picture, not just part of it. And remember that the purpose of doing this is not to use one to negate the other. It is important to see how things are the same, how they are on repeat. And it is important to see how things are different, how they have changed. You might just find this to be the antidote to the perception of powerlessness or doom that you have been looking for.

Debunking The Myth of ‘You Can’t Be Abandoned as an Adult’

There is a very popular idea being passed around in the field of psychology/self-help/spirituality. And that idea is that you can’t abandon an adult. Essentially, the idea behind this concept is that abandonment can only happen to a child because only a child is dependent on someone for their needs whereas an adult has resources available to them. And an adult can’t abandon another adult since one adult is not responsible for another adult, each are responsible for themselves. Therefore, all that is possible, is for an adult to have their prior abandonment trauma triggered by the actions of someone else. Basically, the idea is that it is only possible to abandon something if it cannot take care of itself. 
There is so much wrong with this concept, so let’s pull it apart piece by piece. 
To abandon means to drop or give up completely on something, such as a course of action, a goal, a responsibility you took, a practice, a commitment you made, an agreement you entered into or a relationship you decided to engage in etc. A person may choose to abandon anything they choose to commit their energy to, including their relationship with another person or something they are providing for the other person. And a person can cease anything they started. When we use the word abandonment in the context of this conversation, we usually mean that someone has dropped and given up their commitment to stay with someone else, support them, provide something for them, look after them, be there for them or fulfill their agreements or responsibilities relative to that other person in some way. And it is possible to do all of these things to another person, regardless of their age.
To give you some examples of adult abandonment, a person who enters into a primary partnership with someone else, only to find themselves in a situation where the partner has distanced themselves, is not communicating, is ignoring bids for connection, is consistently prioritizing other things and is in their own world under the same roof, has emotionally abandoned their partner.
If two people enter into an agreement that they will live their life together under the same roof, and they provide physical and/or emotional needs for each other, but one leaves the other to go live somewhere else and stop providing those needs, without finding a mutually beneficial arrangement to accommodate for needed change, one of those friends has abandoned the other. 
Two people commit to a joint venture. They have committed to being “in it together” and to serving as resources for that venture. One of the people changes their mind and un-commits to that venture, and to being “in it together” with the other person, even if only in a different way. This person has left the other person to do it alone. Thus, they have abandoned their commitment to the other person as well as to the venture itself. If you don’t think this can be serious, just look back to history and think about the consequences of desertion when it comes to war.                  Straight out the gate, the biggest issue with this concept is that it does not recognize developmental trauma at all. And instead, draws an arbitrary line in the sand where childhood ends and adulthood begins. Certain traumas affect people’s ability to actually develop into being able to exhibit what we judge as adult behavior. So, the reality is, you may not actually be dealing with an adult, even though they look like one. And a person simply having the self-awareness that they are an adult, does not make it so that developmental issues cease to exist. Developmental trauma leads to both 1. The behavior of regressing and having a complete breakdown on a mental, physical and emotional level which you could say is not a very adult behavior and 2. The behavior of someone abandoning someone else, rather than looking for a mutually beneficial arrangement which accommodates for changes in life, which is also not an adult behavior. Neither behavior would occur in a developmentally healthy adult. Therefore, any discission about abandonment between two fully developed adults, is purely hypothetical. What a person needs to overcome developmental trauma, is to have the experience that would have allowed the development to happen. Therefore, a person who has abandonment trauma in their childhood needs to have the opposite experience in their adulthood. It will never, ever work to try to get them to see that they are an adult and they can function alone. This is in fact a re-traumatization. Damage that was done in relationship, can only be healed in relationship. To the opposite side, people doing the abandoning also have some missing experience they were denied in childhood and that they need in order to develop. 
Society is currently creating more and more developmental issues and is then failing to recognize this. And is then taking no responsibility for the issues it is creating in people. And to make matters worse, people are in fact justifying and glorifying doing so.                      The concept that it is not possible to abandon an adult, rests on the false belief that abandonment is only valid if the person who is to suffer from that abandonment, is incapable of finding alternative resources for whatever the one doing the abandoning is providing. Abandonment is happening, regardless of whether or not the person who is to suffer from that abandonment is or is not capable of finding alternative resources for whatever the one doing the abandoning is providing.
On top of this, if this argument was valid, then a child also could not be considered to have been abandoned as long as they had alternative resources. This means, when a child’s needs are met by a grandmother or by the state, you could no longer say that the child was abandoned by their mother because technically, the child had other resources available to them. Also, it begs the question what age does a child become suddenly able to find alternative resources and not dependent on others? Is it when they can forage for food? Because if this is the case, the age would be about five. After which point, they could not be considered to be abandoned. Is it when they are old enough to take over the job of regulating their own emotions? Because if this is the case, that would be around age 8 or 9. After which point, they could not be considered to be abandoned. Is it when the government has decided they can be drafted into armed forces and vote, which would be 18 in many places. After which point, they cannot be considered abandoned. Is it when a child can make their own finances, because if this is the case, children begging in the streets in india cannot be considered abandoned. And does it change the more complex a society becomes, making it so that a child can be considered abandoned at certain age in one country, but a totally different age in another country? Hopefully you are feeling that this very weak argument was created to be a logical invalidation, especially on an emotional level, for the person who is being abandoned, because someone has an agenda for that person standing on their own two feet and not depending on others. The question is: What agenda? That agenda might be something as benign as wanting the person to feel empowered and no longer dependent on others in a way that doesn’t serve them. To the opposite, the agenda might be something as adverse as not wanting to take any responsibility in a relationship.      The idea that it is not possible to abandon an adult comes from the false idea that a human adult is a solitary animal that is not dependent on one another. The reality is just the opposite. Human beings are a group species. People are a highly interdependent species. Their ability to thrive, in fact does depend on each other. Attachment to one another runs very deep and security in their relationships is extremely important to their wellbeing. Also, their relationships are not solely about use. Therefore, people do not experience each other as being exchangeable and replaceable. When a person has dropped and given up their commitment to stay with someone else, support them, look after them, be there for them or fulfill their agreements or responsibilities relative to that other person, it causes intense damage to them, regardless of their age and regardless of whether they can find someone else or other resources to replace what was lost by the abandonment occurring.  This concept fails to recognize that there are many responsibilities that one has relative to another person they have entered into relationship with. And instead, seeks to establish a policy of zero responsibility relative to other people. There is a place for a person taking responsibility for themselves. There is an empowerment to be found in taking responsibility for oneself. But we sign up for things in relationships. We sign up for being relied on for certain things. Abandonment is to drop whatever we signed up for in a relationship or signed up for by getting into a relationship. If we enter into a relationship and take no responsibility relative to that other person, we are living in a narcissistic state of being. We are not truly IN relationship. For this reason, it is very important in a relationship, to mutually agree upon what we will/can vs. wont/can’t sign up for or take responsibility for in our relationships. What we will/can vs. wont/can’t be relied on for. The way you act and the things you do and don’t do, have an intense effect on other people. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Am I Responsible for How Other People Feel? When someone experiences any form of abandonment as an adult, they will be harmed by it. The degree to which they will suffer, does depend on whether they already have trauma from a childhood abandonment. But here is the thing, a person who is abandoned in their childhood in some way, will be a vibrational match to repeat abandonments. But when a person is abandoned as an adult, the feelings they experience are not solely because of that past experience. This concept tends to place all the responsibility and pressure on a person’s trigger from past abandonments. And/or it tends to place the responsibility and pressure on the problem being their reaction or how they feel, rather than on the person doing the injuring. In fact, many people who propagate this idea, defend the behavior of the person doing the abandoning, such as pointing out a person’s right to leave. Of course, a person has free will and can leave if they feel it is in their best interests to do so. And of course, a person cannot stay in a situation where they are experiencing abuse. But the statement ‘you can’t abandon an adult’ is a form of pulling all pressure and responsibility off of the person doing the abandoning and making the person being abandoned or neglected the problem instead. And this is a form of emotional abuse.        Inherent in this concept are two shadows. The first is the shadow of not wanting to be depended on. And the second is, not wanting to feel dependent on. This idea is very appealing to individuals who for reasons related to their own trauma in relationships, (usually from their own childhood) either 1. do not want to feel powerless to other people in any way, and whom find depending on someone to be a terrifyingly vulnerable thing. Or 2. feel enmeshed or burdened by any kind of responsibility towards others and find being depended on to be a terrifyingly vulnerable thing. The idea that it is not possible to be abandoned as an adult, helps them to avoid these feelings and validate their dysfunctional behavior in relationships. This concept seeks to minimize the impact of abandonment. But the impact is very real and there are plenty of situations where an adult does not actually have resources or is prevented from them in some way. We don’t live in a world that is as straight forward as people are trying to make it… If you’re an adult, you have access to resources, if you’re not an adult, you don’t. Let’s imagine that a 40 year old man abandons a 40 year old woman and their 3 kids in the projects. That woman’s life is going to drastically change for the worse. And she may very well not have access to the same resources that he was providing on a physical level, emotional level or mental level. And her life and the children’s lives will all take a turn for the worse because of it. To tell this person that she has all the access to the same resources herself, because she is an adult and that this abandonment is just helping her to connect deeper to her inner resources or to God or Source, is profoundly out of touch. It is also to put even more pressure on her and add to the pain she is experiencing. You will come to find that this stance is an ideology that generates from the resourced and the privileged. 
But let’s go even further, even someone who has many resources on a financial and practical level, someone who you would call “privileged”, may be impoverished and have very little access to intangible resources, especially at the emotional level. The withdrawal of these emotional resources is every bit as damaging as the loss of tangible, physical resources. If not more so. There are consequences that come as a result of any abandonment, regardless of what level that abandonment takes place on.  It is absolutely possible to cut another person off, regardless of their age, from a crucial source of sustenance that has been withdrawn. It is absolutely possible to abandon an adult. And unfortunately, in our world, may people do abandon other people. There is gold to be found in individual empowerment. But human beings are not reptiles. And human beings are not islands unto themselves, nor are they meant to be.  

How Nice Guys Kill

In human society, the most liked people, are the people who are nice. These are the people who are agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing. We like nice people because we can find confluence with them very easily and thus, we don’t experience conflict. We feel at ease and even safe around them. You could say that nice people are the people who are the best at keeping a sense of social cohesion, peace and calm.
At face value, being nice is a good thing. But there is a dark side to niceness. And that dark side, can in fact be damaging enough to make overtly mean people seem better. Now, as it applies to men, despite the fact that nice people are so liked, it didn’t used to be that men were the most valued for being nice. But this is changing. It is a rather new developing trend within society. And believe me, it is a very, very dangerous one. 
What I want to expose to your awareness today, is the dark side of nice men, the ways they damage others and the implications of us continuing down this path of valuing niceness in men more and more. Keep in mind that in this episode, I’m not going to help you to understand and have empathy for the origins of nice guys, nor am I going to offer solutions for it. I am simply going to show you how nice guys kill.   
We need to not confuse niceness with kindness. A person can be nice but not kind. Or a person can be kind, but not nice. The difference between nice and kind is the difference between day and night. Nice is in fact a self-centered behavior pattern where you are acting in a pleasing way so as to get people to like you and to avoid conflict. Kind is an other-oriented behavior where you demonstrate that you can act in the best interest of others. Kind people perform good deeds for others. You don’t have to be a nice person to be a kind person. In fact, a nice person, often acts against the best interests of others in favor of being liked or avoiding conflict themselves. Ok, so a nice person is self-centered and behaves narcissistically. A kind person feels empathy and acts in the best interests of others. A nice person is exhibiting weakness. A kind person is exhibiting strength. A nice person acts from self-interest and fear. A kind person acts from care and love.   A nice man is not necessarily going to act in your best interests. I’m going to say this again… A nice man is not necessarily going to act in your best interests. He is going to act in his own best interests. What he cares the most about is the perks of being liked and avoiding conflict. The reason this is so hard to see, is because we perceive nice people to be good. And the way they do the damage that they do to others, is not by being mean and bad tempered and displaying overt zero-sum game behavior. Here is an example of this. Angelica was born to a narcissistic mother that was prone to verbal abuse and a nice father. When Angelica’s mother would verbally berate her, her father would stay silent, just watching it happen. She would be sent to her room. And her father would sit with her mother in order to de-escalate her. When the waters were calm and she was allowed out of her room, her father would pretend nothing happened and go to work on a project around the house and invite Angelica to join him. The whole time, he was acting nice, but he was not acting in the best interests of his daughter or his wife. He is keeping dysfunction alive and well in his own household. He is enabling abuse; he is preventing his wife from focusing on and healing her own negative patterns that will harm her and others in life. And he has abandoned his own daughter, without actually leaving the house. He is teaching his daughter to fend for herself and that she doesn’t deserve to be positively owned or protected by him. This will set her up for a life-long relationship with men who will fail to protect her and fail to really be there for her. Men who will abandon her for their own best interests, leaving her to fend for herself, even though they are technically still in her vicinity. Nice men are very dangerous men. But no one will see it, because that danger has a mask. An agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing one. This means, the whole world is unlikely to see it and will invalidate the damage they cause.      A nice man is often an enabler in the worst sense of the word. An enabler is someone who encourages, indirectly supports, justifies and enables negative behavior in others; behavior that is harmful to others and behavior that is self-destructive. And they will do so whenever it is in their best interests to do so. They will do so whenever it gets them liked and guarantees them the perks of being liked. And they will do so whenever it allows them to avoid conflict and guarantees them that they will avoid the negative consequences of not being liked.   A nice man is inauthentic, dishonest and can even be a downright liar. Because of this, they are actively engaged in deception. They just have to keep you from knowing it! To be agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing all the time, a person has to not reveal their actual thoughts and feelings. They also have to hide anything they do that people would find displeasing or cause conflict, from view. They do not reveal any truth about themselves whenever the hiding of that truth would get them liked and guarantee them the perks of being liked. And they will not reveal a truth about themselves whenever it allows them to avoid conflict and guarantees them that they will avoid the negative consequences of not being liked. This pattern of deception that they are committed to, can even become self-deception. They may even deceive themselves and hide the truth of their thoughts and feelings and personal truths from their own awareness and or acknowledgment. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Human Hyphen Pattern. Nice men will dupe you. What you thought you were getting with them, is not actually the truth of them. And you’re not actually in a relationship with a nice guy. You don’t even know who they are.            A nice man is often two faced. How can a person be perceived as agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing if they are in in the room with two people that disagree or are opposed? They have to stay silent or find a creative way to validate each person’s perspective, but in a way that doesn’t upset the other. But if the two people happen to be in two different rooms, this is not a problem. They simply speak and act one way with one person and totally different, or even the opposite with the other. Nice guys are so good at doing this, they make the ideal double dealer or double agent. At the end of the day, you never know what is actually true about them. What they actually think, what they actually feel, what their actual opinion is, and what is really going on. So, the compatibility and confluence you experience with them, is false. And this two-faced behavior can easily become betrayal.  A nice guy will harmonize discrepancies or contradictory pieces of information about themselves by separating them into individual compartments within his own mind. He will be a highly split and fragmented individual. He will be highly compartmentalized. When you start to notice these discrepancies and contradictory things about him, you will feel like you are with someone with split personality. To learn more about fragmentation, you can watch my video titled: Fragmentation, The Worldwide Disease. A nice guy will then come up with good guy affirming stories to justify these discrepancies. To give you an example of what I mean, Jim does not want to have to check with anyone before he makes a decision to do something. But he knows that this is not ok in a marriage and part of him really wants to be married. So, he’s got his wife trapped in an intermittent reinforcement pattern. One day he makes a decision to go camping without even telling her where he is. And the next, he prompts her to make every decision for the both of them. Of course, on the day he went camping, one of his friends got into a car wreck. While he was camping, he called that friend to see if he needed any help. When he got home, he had told both himself and his wife the story that one of his friends got in a car wreck and that he needed to be there for him during the time of emergency, without needing to focus on anyone else’s needs but his friend’s. He apologized profusely, but didn’t realize that he had revised history. And didn’t bother to address the discrepancies and contradictions within himself that led to the incident.       A nice man fails to protect. This is the one that explains why the nice guy doesn’t get the girl and why people like to say that women like assholes. To protect, you can’t be nice, you have to be kind. You have to act in the best interests of someone, despite the fact that doing so puts you at odds with and causes you to be disliked by someone else. It is to step into conflict. Nice guys won’t do this. It goes against what they are wanting for themselves. Protection is one of the most important elements of masculine energy. It is one of the things that women, children, other men and indeed society at large need most from men. To understand more about this, watch three of my videos. The first titled: Why Women Like Assholes. And the second titled: What Every Man Needs to Know About Women. And the third titled: Containment, What a Woman Needs From a Man in a Relationship. What you need to get is that refusing to protect has MASSIVE consequences. And refusing to protect, is to enable the thing that is posing a threat, creating danger and causing harm and destruction.            A nice guy will neglect you. He will leave you alone and leave you to fend for yourself in many ways. And he will do so without actually leaving you. He will do so with the whole world watching and thinking what a nice and therefore good guy he is. So many of the things that a child needs from a father or a woman needs from a man or a partner needs from a partner or a friend needs from a friend, he will simply not do. And not because he can’t… Because he chooses not to. He will choose not to because doing those things don’t suit his own personal interests. For example, you may need things like security, trust, reliability, containment, safety, to feel seen, positive ownership, reassurance, consideration, loyalty, to be able to count on him, genuine intimacy, emotional availability, truth, understanding, consistency, honesty, empathy, prioritization, genuine connection, compatibility, protection and to know what is real and make decisions in the relationship based on what is real etc. But doing those things, providing those things, might put him in the position to not be liked or to line up with conflict, either with you or with someone else he is more afraid of not being liked by. And so, over time, you will end up getting that he provides none of these things. So many of the things you need a man to do in a relationship or within society, a nice guy will not do, if doing so causes him to risk not being liked, and a nice guy will not do if it means he will get into a conflict. And what you have to get is that the pain of this, is not just about needs not being met. That implies it’s only about the absence of something, or starvation. It is about that. But it’s also about the dire consequences of being neglected in those ways and therefore those needs not being met. For example, a husband who is nice may fail to provide containment for his wife. As a result, she may become anxious, hyper masculine, armored and controlling and because of it, not act in a nurturing way towards the children. Those children will grow up to perceive the world to be a dangerous place, where they can expect no warmth. And they may develop harsh protector personalities as a result, behavioral self-preservation tendencies that damage their adult relationships and also their own children. There are extreme consequences to neglect of any kind. Not doing something that is needed can be as damaging and sometimes even more damaging than doing something that is harmful.        Nice guys often flip the polarity in their relationships. And even remain in their little boy energy and mentality. This is especially visible in male-female dynamics. They gradually make it so that the female child or woman in the relationship is providing for him, the things that he should be providing for her. For example, he might make his daughter responsible for making sure that his need for security is met, by holding her responsible to encourage him. Or he might put the woman in his life in the position of providing for him. Or he might behave so passively that all the initiative and leadership must be taken by the woman in his life. Or he might behave like a child when he encounters a problem, running away from it or breaking down or saying he “can’t”, leaving the woman to solve it for the both of them. A woman cannot maintain her femininity in a relationship with a nice guy… A nice guy will do whenever gets him liked and guarantees him the perks of being liked. A nice guy will do whenever allows him to avoid conflict and gives him the biggest chance of avoiding the negative consequences of not being liked. And he is willing to do so against the best interests of any woman in his life." To maintain her femininity, she will have to distance herself from him. I also need to remind you that in general, niceness is an adaptive behavior that occurs when someone has to endear themselves to someone with more power in order to stay safe and get their needs met. Therefore, we could say that niceness is a little boy behavior, rather than a masculine behavior in general.      A nice guy is giving to get. Most of what he does, comes with strings attached. After all, he is being nice and doing nice things, because of the personal benefit he thinks he will get by doing so. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, he will find other, manipulative ways to get it. The result will be that more and more, you will find yourself totally drained to the core by him. Also confused. He is so nice, but somehow, you will feel like it is a one-way relationship.          You will most likely be put at the mercy of someone else in their life. And or in constant conflict with someone in their life, as if it is you vs. that person. You are not actually safe with a nice guy if you are the person that he is most interested in being liked by and in confluence with. It will simply seem like you are at first. When someone else becomes the person they are interested in being liked by and in confluence with, you will either be put at that mercy of that person’s best interests. Or, you will be put in a position where they scoot themselves out of their position of holding any boundaries for themselves, and instead, find yourself having to duke it out with each other or even over him. Here is an example. Ethan is a really nice guy. He has always had a very close relationship with his mother. She is his “best friend”. Ethan married a woman named Isabel. Isabel feels like she is at the mercy of Ethan’s mother’s needs and wishes. The reason being that though Ethan validates the fact that his mother is demanding and often rolls his eyes at her requests, she always ends up getting her way, despite Isabel’s best interests. Ethan’s mother is the one he is the most interested in being liked by and the most afraid to displease. So, he will require Isabel to accommodate and comply to his mother, for his sake. On more than one occasion, these conflicts of interest have escalated into conflicts between Isabel and Ethan’s mother. What Isabel needs to wake up to, is the fact that there is no Ethan’s truth in this whole matter. He is not asserting his own desires and his own boundaries with his mother or with his wife. Doing so would displease them both and cause conflicts with them both. He couldn’t be seen as a “nice guy”. Instead, he is taking himself out of the equation and is presenting their desires and their boundaries to each other, as if he were not even a factor in the equation. And he is arguing his mother’s needs, to his wife, not his own needs in the situation. Nice guys are actually very controlling. They are covertly controlling. They want their world to run smooth. They want to avoid conflict and negativity and experience confluence and positivity. And so, they manipulate specifically to try to control the people around them. They will do so by creating consequences that ‘seem’ out of their control, but that actually are within their control. For example, imagine a man feels threatened by the presence of another man in his girlfriend’s life. He will say “I think it’s good that you have him in your life, you can’t spend all your time with only me!”. But every time this man comes around, he will shut down and withdraw. His girlfriend doesn’t even need to be conscious of it, she learns that on an energetic level, the consequence of being around the other man is her partner’s withdrawal. So, she will develop anxiety about spending time with other men, and gradually become isolated from everyone but him. He has successfully managed to control her behavior that threatens him, without her even realizing what has happened. Their controlling behavior will ultimately leave you in a place where you are responsible for the wellbeing of their self-esteem and responsible for the smoothness of their world, so that they can be there for you.       Nice guys will gravitate towards someone unlikable, fuel their unlikability and benefit by them being the unlikable one. Nice guys gravitate to unlikable people for two reasons. First, unlikable people are the external reflection of what they are suppressing, denying and disowning in themselves. Second, being near unlikable people makes them even more likable by comparison. The more disagreeable, impolite, unfriendly, inconsiderate, aggressive and displeasing someone is, the more agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing you seem, both to yourself and to others. If you are in a relationship with a nice guy, you will always be seen as the unlikable, bad and wrong one. This is a dangerous position to be in because it means they can easily scapegoat you. And people will be on their side, even if they, themselves are the problem, because people automatically assume that the nice one, is the good guy. And they know that! 
On top of this, they will not only enable, but fuel the unlikable person’s behavior, keeping them unlikable because they benefit personally from it. People will see them as even more of a nice person and like them even more if they are such a saint as to maintain a relationship with a person who is so unlikable. Essentially, if you are in a relationship with a nice guy, prepare for them to be the problem, but for you to be seen as the problem instead. Prepare to the bad guy. 
And don’t fall for the apologizing or the “I take ownership of what I did wrong” act. People who genuinely take responsibility, change their behavior that is problematic. Instead of actually changing problematic behavior, nice guys simply apologize and take responsibility for their actions when they are caught because they know this ends conflicts, gets them out of the pressure of being disliked and makes them get liked even more.  By signing up for a relationship with a nice guy, you will be signing up for a unique kind of toxic cycle. By definition, nice guys are suppressors. Feelings and needs are meant to be acknowledged and expressed and when they aren’t, they will find another outlet. The pressure and frustration and resentment starts to build in them. They will suppress that and never show it. They will suppress anything negative. This means their partner is being tanked. Their partner, or the people around them will feel and express whatever they don’t acknowledge and suppress. This means that the people around them will grow more and more explosive and more and more unhinged. On top of this, that internal pressure builds to the point where it leaks. It leaks as passive aggressive behavior, snarky comments, strange choices or actions that don’t seem consistent with the truths they’ve expressed, sarcasm, whining, needling and physical ailments. And it is coped with through addictive behaviors like spending sprees, alcohol or most especially, fatty, sugary, starchy comfort foods. When you respond to the tanking and leaked truths and addictive behavior with surprise and get upset or even worse, angry about it, this will reinforce their belief that their negative feelings and their truths (that would be disliked) should never be expressed. And this becomes a vicious cycle where the behaviors become worse and worse. And you will find yourself confused and frozen, not understanding what is going on, feeling like your security is dependent on solving the Rubik’s Cube of them and of your relationship alone. You will be alone, trying desperately to figure out what their truth is, what is right for them, what to do to make things better, what your part in the vicious cycle is, what they want and why they are doing what they are doing. And the worst part is, they will not tell you.                  Nice guys are highly manipulative. They can’t risk conflict or being seen negatively by coming out directly with their needs. Instead, they have to manipulate other people and manipulate situations to get their needs met. And you will find yourself in situations you would never have agreed to, because of it. For example, Dwayne is a nice guy. But Dwayne does not want to be responsible for doing the dishes. So, instead of asserting his need for there to be a different solution to him doing the dishes, he loads the dishwasher with the crockery in the way of the spinning blades or pretends that he didn’t understand his partner when he was asked to do the dishes. He is forcing other people to take care of it in a manipulative way. Or for example, Oliver, who is also a nice guy, has wanted to be supported in his own personal success goals for his whole life. But he was never allowed to go for his own success. He was only ever allowed to be the support to someone else. So, he gets a job on a team designed to support a professional athlete. But slowly, he flips everything so that the entire team is supporting him. They are running errands he asks them to run, so he can be more effective at his job. They are fetching him food at lunch time, so he can be more effective at his job. They are covering for him when he makes mistakes or drops balls, so it doesn’t affect the athlete. They are supporting him emotionally, so he can be “on point” in his position. He convinces them that supporting him, is them supporting the athlete, but even though Oliver is happy finally being supported by everyone, everyone else feels confused and angry because they didn’t sign up for putting their energy towards Oliver. The energy of the team is being diverted, making the team and the athlete much less successful. And one more I’m going to give you is that nice guys will not and do not grasp the depth and seriousness of their beliefs and their behaviors and do not actually see the damage they are doing to you. Imagine this like someone setting fire to your house, but when you scream and cry for them to stop and try to get them to understand and see what they are doing, they will not respond appropriately. They will either deflect, as if someone else or something else is the reason for it. Or they will respond as if what they are seeing that they did to you, was to shut the door too loud. 
By definition, this means that they are in a different reality than the people around them, including their own partner. The depth of desperation and despair that people around them feel because of this, is quite frankly indescribable. And people often end up having to leave them because with this behavior (and so many others that I have already mentioned) they behave so incredibly unworkable. The reason that they do this, is because they are identified with being nice, and cannot rectify their knowing of themselves as being nice, with being told that they have done something bad enough to qualify as a bad guy. It is too threatening to their self-concept and to everything they need and want in their life. They pride themselves on being a good guy to the degree that they literally refuse to see the true depth and seriousness of what they have done and what they are doing. And so, no action they take to try to remedy the situation or create repair in the relationship, is taken from reality. It rarely addresses the actual problem. Because they are not in reality about what is happening and what they are doing. And because they are not in reality about the seriousness of their beliefs and behavior and the things they say and do or don’t say and don’t do, they are intensely gaslighting. And this, makes people around them not only feel alone. But alone in pain. Not only alone in pain, but alone in pain that was caused by them. Not only in alone in pain caused by them, but also as if they are losing their mind and their grip on reality.                     There is a far bigger picture than the one that emerges from the picture of damage that nice guys cause in personal relationships. A bigger picture that applies to the world at large. We need kind men. This world needs kind men desperately.  A kind man will act out of a deep-rooted love for his fellow living beings. He will do what is right and what is needed, and consciously choose the consequences, even to himself when necessary. Men, when they are in their masculine center, are not mean or cruel. They are kind. But the world does not need nice men. The implications of continuing down this road where niceness rather than kindness is the standard that men are held accountable to, is that we will end up with men that do not embody any of the qualities of masculinity. Desperately needed qualities. And the absence of these qualities within society will lead to drastic consequences for us all. A nice man conforms his behavior to what he believes others, especially society sees as “nice” for his own benefit and to avoid consequences to himself. This man, may just be the most dangerous man there is, because of what he will not only fail to do, but choose not to do, in a time when he is needed most. If the men of a society become agreeable, polite, friendly, considerate, placid and pleasing in the face of a threat to the wellbeing of the members of that society, what will become of the people then? And who might love to capitalize on that? The reality is that we are being systematically weakened. And we are actively participating in that process of weakening. And we will suffer the consequences of doing so. 
The nice guy is not a good guy. The nice guy is a very dangerous guy. He just has a different method of destroying himself and the people around him. 

Why You Need to Separate Sexuality from Security in Relationships - The Societal Wakeup Call

We must begin this conversation with a history lesson. The natural social structure for a human being is tribe. And it is tribe that offers humans their most essential needs. It offers them a sense of safety, stability, belonging, attention, love, togetherness, protection, inclusion, contribution, presence, feeling wanted and needed and valued, participation, the formation of identity, comfort, closeness, a sense of certainty, growth, self-esteem, support for their most basic needs, such as food, water and shelter and physical affection. It offers them connection and support for their achievements, pleasure, knowledge and more. As a group species, people cannot survive and do not thrive without the sense that they are part of a tribe where people fend for each other. This is the root of security for a physical human. We lived in a tribal way for the vast majority of our history. 
But when we switched from a foraging lifestyle to an agrarian lifestyle and property ownership became the most important thing, the structure of society changed. Tribe began to be systematically dissolved. As a result of these changes, paternity certainty became important within human society and the only way you could guarantee paternity certainty, was if you controlled human sexuality. Especially female sexuality. Ever increasingly, the fundamental structure of society was no longer tribe, it became the nuclear family, the foundation of which was a man’s claim over his property, which included his wife and children. Yes, women became property. In some parts of the world, they are still considered property of the men in their lives. But you must understand that they were regarded as such in the world until so recently, it should make your head spin. Just to give you a feeling for what I mean, it took until the year 1900 before every state in the US had passed a law that married women could keep their own wages and own their own property. But don’t think it changed then. In 1971, a woman could not get a credit card in her own name – it wasn’t until 1974 that a law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without their husband’s signature. Some of your eading this may have already been born before then. It wasn't until 1973 that women could serve on juries in all 50 states. Women couldn’t decide not to have sex if their husband wanted to – spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993. I’m going to say that again...1993. Issues like reproductive freedom and a woman's right to decide when and whether to have children were only just beginning to be openly discussed in the 1960s. In 1957, the FDA approved of the birth control pill but not for contraception, only for "severe menstrual distress." As people, we may think we have evolved beyond this, but we have not. The roots of this thinking are still embedded in our psyches, even if only in our subconscious mind. 
But going back, when we made this massive shift regarding the lifestyle of our species and therefore our values, the way society was governed needed to be changed. To see the way that the governing of society changed, you must look back to the governing bodies at that time and since that time… Religions and monarchs and later governments. You must look at the indoctrination and systems of control (including punishment and reward) that they began to use to govern the people. 
Humans could no longer go directly for their actual need, which is tribe. They were now indoctrinated into the idea that the only way to go for tribe (or rather all the needs that used to be satisfied by having tribe) was to get married to one person and to have children together. And suddenly, security and sexuality were undeniably forever linked. This was actually made worse when the idea of marriage ceased to be a purely strategic one, based on practicalities, and instead, became a romantic affair. Remember that the idea that marriage should be based on love is very new. But this made it so that security was not only based on sexuality, it was also based on someone falling romantically in love with us. 
So, to sum this up, over the course of history, we have come to believe that a sense of security in the world, which is dependent on social and relationship security, is dependent upon us finding one person who feels romantically and sexually attracted to us and whom will grant us sexual fidelity, so that we can be sure that we will not lose that security. And THAT is now how we believe we will be able to guarantee all the things we most desperately need… a sense of safety, stability, self-esteem, belonging, attention, love, togetherness, protection, inclusion, contribution, presence, feeling wanted and needed and valued, participation, comfort, a sense of certainty, support for our most basic needs, such as food, water and shelter and physical affection. Support for our achievements, pleasure, and so much more. 
Why are so many people miserable you ask? Because we are basing our sense of security on something that humans were never any good at, because it was never a natural trait of our species… sexual fidelity. Even though it’s there, you don’t even need to look at the science behind that one. Just look at the world you live in today. If something is natural for a person, they don’t have to put so much effort into controlling themselves into doing it. And most of all, governing bodies don’t have to put so much effort into indoctrinating people and controlling people into doing it. 
On top of this, we are miserable because we are basing our security off of our romantic and sexual attractiveness and off of whether someone is romantically and sexually attracted to us. And just like that, sex becomes a means to an end… to the point where people have lost touch with the actual role that sexuality naturally plays in their lives. There is something much more high stakes wrapped up in it… our security in life. People don’t even know their own natural sexuality because of this. And this is a factor regarding why people are so sex obsessed. And also, why they are so obsessed with being sexually attractive. Sex now carries an un-natural kind of charge. If you don’t believe me, ponder this: If you truly belonged to and with a group of people… a tribe, and all of your needs were met. Meaning you had belonging, you had protection, you had safety, you had stability, you had attention, you had love, you had togetherness, you were included, you were valued for your contribution, you were wanted and needed, you had comfort and a sense of certainty. You had support for our most basic needs such as food, water and shelter and physical affection. You had support for our achievements. And you had people to enjoy the world with, and it wasn’t going to just go away… what role would sexuality and eros play in your life then? While you are pondering this, see if you can recognize how unfathomable it is for you that you can have security any other way. See if you can feel your core belief that anything else, other than a sole primary partner wanting to bond with you exclusively, because of their sexual and romantic attraction towards you, is not secure.
Another reason we are so miserable is that when we switched from our security being about Tribe to our security being about a sole, primary partner, we failed to realize that one person cannot reliably provide all those needs that tribe offered to us. And that if there were any relationship ruptures of any kind with that one person, or if that person became ill or died, suddenly, we lost all our security in life. Most of us live our lives in red-zone level insecurity because of this. We are under-resourced and many of us are chronically anxious in our relationships and in the world. We become desperate and furious with our partner when he or she can’t reliably provide all of these tribal needs for us. And we may try to supplement these needs we would get from tribe with things like friends or trying to stay close with our parents and siblings or by joining religious groups or by trying to find a sense of community somewhere. But in today’s world, this patch-up job we are trying to do is not working so well. In fact, it’s becoming worse and worse in an era where marriage and the nuclear family is less and less able to survive. And the more separated we become from one another due to all kinds of different modern factors. And the saddest part is, it’s been so long since people lived in the actual social structure that is in fact natural to them and that is in fact the very thing that they are missing, they don’t even know what it is that they are missing. They just feel like crap in life.
The bottom line is, people need to return to tribe. Not shadow tribe, conscious tribe! That is what people actually need. And people need to return to getting their worldly security from tribe, rather than from one person bonding to them because of the romantic and sexual attraction they feel towards them. Of course, we are much less controllable this way. So, there will be a great many governing bodies that will be against this. But what we have been doing and what we continue to do, has been and is a recipe for disaster.
Here's the thing… We need to all simultaneously wake up to this. We need to wake each other up to this and set each other free from these thousands of years’ worth of indoctrination. Why? Because this one, is a self-fulfilling loop. Here is why… If I believe that anything else, other than a sole primary partner wanting to bond with me exclusively, because of their sexual and romantic attraction towards me, is not secure, having THAT specific relationship will be my #1 priority. My commitment will be to that over the other people in my life. Over tribe. And remember that we live in a world that is currently VERY competitive regarding resources and this includes people. People feel they will get their needs met through exclusivity, rather than inclusivity. And so immediately, in order to get genuine security, they must either establish a romantic, sexual pair bond with me, or they have no actual security with me. Or they must establish their security by establishing a romantic, sexual pair bond with someone else. 
When any one of us is in this pattern, we reinforce this pattern in everyone around us. We prove that security can only come in this way. We feed into it, keeping the current societal structure that doesn’t work in place. We make it so that the only hope that someone has at gaining security, is to establish a romantic, sexual pair bond. Which again, is an inherently unstable and un-natural structure for us. 
And before you polyamorous people think you’re off the hook on this one, you should be aware that the vast majority of polyamorous people have simply figured out that the way to gain an improved sense of security, is to establish romantic, sexual bonds with multiple people, thus decreasing the odds that you ever have to fend for yourself and increasing your odds that those needs you would get from tribe are reliably met. Polyamorous people are still indoctrinated with this belief. Sexuality and security are still linked for the vast majority of them too. If you don’t believe me, and you consider yourself to be polyamorous, imagine that something happens to make it so that you are not perceived as sexually and romantically attractive to others or to make it so that you can’t have sex. Notice whether your sense of security goes away when you imagine this. Notice the sense of aloneness and pressure creeping in. 
What you are really wanting is tribe. To re-establish a genuine sense of security in that tribe, all of us are going to have to separate sexuality from a sense of security in our relationships and from a sense of security in our life. And from there, we are going to have to go directly for tribe, and make that our genuine commitment, letting sexuality and eros naturally express from there; rather than making sexuality and eros the anchor of our security and remaining obsessed with finding someone or even multiple people to romantically and sexually pair bond with.

The Secret to Self-Awareness - Becoming Aware of The WHY

To put it bluntly, people are not self-aware. And people are not truly conscious. And perhaps the thing people are the most unconscious about, is the WHY behind what they are thinking, saying and doing. Most people are running around, thinking, saying and doing things instinctively and automatically; driven by their subconscious mind. 
To give you some examples of what I mean, a man drives down the highway filled with road rage. He speeds down the road refusing to signal, speeding up to block merging cars out, finger flipping, yelling and swearing at anyone who he feels is in his way. He has no idea that the WHY has nothing to do with what is happening on the road. He has un-resolved pain about how powerless he feels to other people. Of course, admitting to this would be too vulnerable. But because he feels powerless to other people, anger and aggression feels like empowerment. He feels the need to dominate in order to feel safe and empowered. And this is especially possible when he doesn’t have to face a person. After all, when he and they are inside a metal object, he can “thingify” them. This is the WHY behind his road rage.
A woman sleeps with her best friend’s boyfriend. She says she is sorry. She never wanted to hurt her. She just couldn’t control herself when he came onto her. She is not looking deep enough to see that the WHY behind what she did is that she feels insecure and insignificant. These feelings are made worse when she compares herself to her friend, who is so impressive in so many ways. So, when her friend’s boyfriend came onto her, what mattered more than their friendship in that moment, was the opportunity to feel superior to her friend. If her friend’s boyfriend was choosing her over her friend, it meant he had decided she was more desirable. 
A young adult has to decide between taking a gap year to go travel around Europe or going straight to college. He decides to go to college. He tells people that he made that choice because he wants to get all his required classes done as soon as possible and not waste what little money he has. But the real reason is that his parents are against him taking a gap year. He can feel that his parents will not approve of him if he does go on a gap year and they will keep getting into conflicts. One of his top values is peace. Another is family. The real WHY behind him going straight to college is that his top values would be threatened by taking a gap year in Europe. 
A teen girl keeps thinking terrible things about herself. It seems like there is a voice inside her head that is always criticizing her. She is unaware that the reason this voice inside of her keeps generating these thoughts, is in fact to keep her safe. Deep down, the WHY behind these thoughts is that she is convinced that if she criticizes herself first, other people can’t beat her to it. And if she criticizes herself, she will hold herself to a standard that will guarantee that she will be liked and approved of by others, rather than disapproved of and rejected. 
A man says “I would love to be friends” to a woman he knows. And proceeds to establish a friendship and hang out every day. Later, when she gets into a relationship with another man, he flips out and feels taken advantage of by her and used by her and betrayed by her. He is unaware that the WHY behind him saying that he would love to be friends is that he wanted to say whatever it took to be around her, regardless of whether it was or wasn’t true. He had the hope that over time he could change her mind about him and make her want to be his lover instead. He was sure that if he devoted all his time and effort to her, that would happen. When it didn’t, he felt like all that time and effort was for nothing. And he blamed her for how crappy that made him feel about himself.
Most people live at the surface of things, not truly questioning themselves or others. And not diving beneath what they are thinking, saying and doing to discover the WHY behind them. This is a tragedy because the WHY is the very purpose behind their action. Everything you decide and say and do serves a purpose. The question is, what is that purpose? You cannot keep your attention on the surface and ever hope to find the WHY. The WHY is deep under the surface. 
Facing the WHY can be hard and it can be scary and painful and you may not like what you see about reality or about yourself. This is why so many people also subconsciously or consciously deflect or tell themselves stories or distract themselves or make excuses etc. specifically so they can avoid looking directly at the WHY. But what people don’t understand is that you will pay the price of preserving a feel-good illusion and so will the people around you. And you will pay the price of preserving a positive self-concept and so will the people around you. And it will be a price that is too high to pay. Much higher than actually looking straight at reality; looking straight at the WHY. To learn more about this, you can watch three of my videos. The first simply titled: Reality. The second titled: Why You Should Know and Accept the Truth, Even if it Hurts. And the third titled: Self Concept, The Enemy of Awakening. 
Becoming aware of the WHY behind what you are thinking, saying and doing is life changing. And here are the major reasons why.
It makes you aware of your genuine motivations and genuine needs and desires. Most of us run around trying to meet our needs and reach our desires and satisfy our motivations in subconscious, sneaky, round about ways all day, every day. Our words contradict our actions and we don’t act like we are committed to what we say we are committed to. And because of this, not only are we super manipulative, we are very unsuccessful at looking directly at what we truthfully want and need. We don’t go straight for it in the most effective ways possible. Therefore, becoming aware of the WHY, makes you much less manipulative and much more effective at directly bringing about what you truly want in life.
Two people who make the same decision or say the same thing or take the same action, will have a totally different experiences and experience totally different results when the WHY behind what they are doing is different. The WHY even changes what you are a match to on a vibrational level. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The WHY Changes Everything.  Becoming aware of the WHY puts you in the position of conscious choice. When you see what your true motivation or reasoning is, you get to decide what to do with that information. It puts you in the position of genuine empowerment. Are you going to align further with that reason or motivation and go about doing so in a different way? Or are you going to change the WHY behind what you are saying and doing? Can you change it, or is it a reflection of a solid personal truth? We experience our free will, only when we become aware of the WHY.     It causes you to live according to your values. Our WHY behind what we do, reflects our values. Becoming aware of the WHY, causes us to look directly at our deepest values. And living consciously according to top values, is how people create a fulfilling life. The life they actually want to live. Becoming aware of the real WHY is the road to becoming truly authentic. If you don’t know the WHY, you don’t know yourself. You don’t know what motivates you. You don’t know what you really want. You don’t see your needs. You don’t see your insecurities. You don’t see where you are still controlled by society and your upbringing. You don’t see your fears. You don’t see your negative patterns. You don’t see your strengths. You don’t see yourself. So, so much of the truth of you, is contained in or revealed by the WHY behind your thoughts, words and actions.  Your relationships will improve drastically. It doesn’t take me to tell you that when someone is not aware of (and is not admitting to) the real WHY behind what they are doing, it makes relationships totally unworkable. Chances are, you have been on the other side of this yourself. It preserves dysfunction. It makes painful patterns continue to no end. It makes people act like they can’t control their own behavior and like they don’t know why. It makes the relationship a zero-sum game rather than a win-win. Relationships can’t not change when the WHY is revealed. And they only ever change or end because either the WHY reveals that they would not have gotten better. Or, they actually get better because the two people are changing things according to reality.  It causes you to make the right decisions for yourself. When you see the truth of your actual WHY, it simplifies things and gives you clarity. And with this, you have a much better idea of what the right thing to decide or do is. Also, it brings clarity about different and better ways to do things.  You know what you need to work on, what your growth path or healing path is and therefore, you are more in alignment with your expansion. When you discover your why, you might find things that no longer benefit you, things like insecurities, limiting beliefs, detrimental patterns, hidden expectations etc. Self-development and figuring out your WHY are a married pair.  You will no longer be confused or in the dark about yourself. So many people, even though they live inside their own skin, are unclear about everything… Why they behave how they behave, why they made certain decisions, why they didn’t do certain things, why certain things didn’t work out in their life, what they really want, what really matters to them, why things turned out a certain way, etc.  You will understand yourself and because of it, be able to be in a conscious, healthy relationship with yourself. So, self-awareness and self-love depend on finding out your WHY. If you want to become conscious, self-aware, authentic, have successful relationships and live the life you want, the bravery you have to have, is to look directly at, and admit to the WHY behind anything you think, say and do. Rather than to tell yourself a positive self-concept inducing story about what you are thinking, saying and doing. You must commit to the practice of diving under the surface over and over again. But doing so, is your ticket to the life you have been looking for.

Do You Need Self Improvement or Are You Perfect the Way You Are?

There is so much talk in the self-help, psychology and spiritual field about being prefect the way you are and at the same time, so much talk about all the ways to improve yourself, that people are completely confused. They are confused about what is true. Are they perfect the way they are? Or do they need to change things about themselves and aim to become different or better? Today, I’m going to cut straight through that confusion for you.
The foundation of this philosophical issue lies in spiritual teachings that present a different philosophical conundrum… Attain what you Desire or Surrender to What Is. For thousands of years, there are teachers who teach that desire is the root of suffering. And that the way to become happy is to realize this and to remove yourself from the cycle of dissatisfaction and desire, so that you are in total surrender and nonresistance to what is. And there are teachers who teach that desire is the root of personal expansion. And that the way to become happy is to consciously use your desire to bring about what you want, knowing that what you want will always be evolving. Teachers who teach you to be in non-resistance to what is, often teach you that everything is perfect as it is, including you. On the other hand, teachers who teach you to use desire as a method of consciously creating personal and universal expansion, often teach that one of the main points of life is to evolve, and because this implies changing oneself and one’s life for the better, they end up teaching what many people would call self-improvement. If you want to learn all about this philosophical debate, you can watch my video titled: The Great Spiritual Conundrum (Attain What You Desire or Surrender to What Is).
But these philosophical concepts are then clouded by the fact that socialization makes all of us an enemy to ourselves to varying degrees. When we are children, we learn that parts of ourselves are not acceptable and must be denied, disowned and suppressed. This is a painful process. We were in pain about having to be different rather than being valued the way we are. And that leaves most of us at war with the parts of ourselves that we feel we must change or get rid of or improve, in order to have our needs met; most especially the needs that we have from others, like feeling loved. 
At the same time, we feel desperate to have our needs met, such as to be loved, but the way we are, without having to change ourselves. Of course, when we say we want to be loved, what we actually mean is that we want to be valued, wanted and appreciated. This trauma that all of us experience to varying degrees, causes us to not be able to have a truly philosophical look at whether we are perfect the way we are or whether we need to commit to self-improvement in this life. It makes it so that we have personal agenda regarding what we want the answer to be. We have our own personal desire for what we want the answer to be, based on our own personal experience. If you suffered more because you fall more to the extreme end of never feeling valued, wanted and appreciated and because of it, have fallen into self-hate and therefore are coming at self-improvement from a place of self-rejection, teachings around the perfection of what is (including that you are perfect the way you are) will cause immense relief. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch three of my videos. The first titled: Want to Be Loved for Who You Are? The second titled: Why You Can’t feel Loved for Who You Are. And the third titled: The Value Realization (A Realization That Can Completely Change Your Life).
On the other hand, if you suffered more because no one around you changed and kept you stuck in the pain of dysfunctional patterns, where you felt powerless to bring about anything you want, teachings around using desire as a method of consciously creating personal and universal expansion, including changing yourself, will cause immense empowerment. 
And it is here that I am going to tell you that you need to drop your search for what the answer to this objective conundrum is. In other words, drop thinking about whether it is “right” to try to improve yourself or whether you are perfect the way you are. That is just you trying to find out what is objectively right. Instead, you need to discover your motive for doing either. It is the intention behind doing either that is important. It is the motive behind doing either that will reveal whether practicing one or practicing the other is right for you in any given situation. 
For example, if you are doing some self-improvement practice because you so hate and so reject a part of yourself, you will get nowhere with that practice and you will do more damage to yourself and to others. If you are doing some self- improvement practice because you are wanting to help a part of yourself, you will be benefitted by that practice and so will the people around you.
Or for example, if you are doing some practice that aligns with you embracing the way you are, because you are using it as a way to avoid your fear of taking a necessary action in your life, you are using that practice to feed your own shadow and enable your own dysfunction. It will be a detriment to you and to those around you. If you are using some practice that aligns with you embracing the way you are, because you want to end a war with a part of yourself and integrate it instead, then you are using that practice to establish a condition of true internal peace. It will be a benefit to you and to those around you.
Now, let’s pull this concept apart even further… What does it mean to be perfect? It means that you have all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics. It means you are as good as it is possible to be. It means that you are free from flaws, faults or defects. This implies an ended-ness. This implies that there is no change wanted or needed. See the relief there? It offers us a retirement from the life-long job of self-resistance.
When we hear the phrase “You are perfect the way you are”, we feel immediate relief. We like it because it feels good. We feel the immediate relief of not having to be in resistance to ourselves, along with the relief that maybe it is possible to be good and right and for someone to love us, without us having to put so much effort into changing ourselves. It is a kind of salve to the wound we all share.
Even when you hear someone say “We are all perfectly imperfect”. What this means is that we recognize the flaws, faults and defects and even with them, we are exactly as we should be, and therefore don’t need to change.”
So, if perfection implies no change is wanted or needed, I want you to answer the question, WHY are we so relieved when we hear that nothing has to change? What is it about change that has been or that is so painful to us? And is it all change that is painful to us? What change is and what change isn’t painful and WHY?
Let’s look at a universal truth. You are not a static creature. You are always changing. You were not caused pain because your body had to change from an infant body into a toddler body. Or because you changed from speaking one language to another. Or because you got better at playing the violin over time. Or because you went from being addicted to a drug, to being sober. When it comes to things like this, you don’t involve the question “Am I perfect the way I am, or do I need to commit to self-improvement?” That question only enters the picture when we are caused pain because of some change we feel we should or must make. And because of what we make it mean that we have to do so. We don’t really want to do it. We simply think it is the only way to get something else we want. In this time-space reality, there is always change, progress and expansion occurring. We could say there is always improvement being sought out and created. That can be done from a place of resistance to and rejection of what is. Or, it could very well not be. You can in fact appreciate what is and also create improvement. The two are not inherently juxtaposed concepts.
Improvement suggest that something has gotten or will get better. Better is a perspective dependent on comparison. How are you going to determine whether something is better or not? And who for? You see, you can always argue over the rightness or wrongness of the judgement that something is or isn’t better. 
 You can also argue that there are positives and negatives to anything, including the way you are vs. the way you might change yourself to be. And this really adds complexity to a comparison argument like what is better. Don’t shy away from really questioning whether something is or isn’t better and why or why not. This questioning will bring you closer to knowing whether it is right for you to change something about yourself. Or whether it is right for you to embrace yourself the way you are and not change it. 
If you feel that you are truly satisfied with your life the way is, then you do not want or need improvement to yourself or to any external elements of your life. This is an ended-ness and would mean that there is no expansion that you can find through life anymore. If you have decided that the improvement would be embracing and appreciating yourself the way you are, without changing, ironically, that IS the expansion. That is the change. And that is the self-improvement. 
Most people think that the concept of self-improvement and the concept of being perfect the way you are, is a contradiction because they think one is self-loving, and the other is not. In other words, one is rejecting of the way you are, and the other is approving of the way you are.
I’m going to say this, and I want you to sit with it because it is something that hardly anyone seems to understand… Self-development (i.e. changing yourself) does not have to come from a place of self-rejection. It might currently be coming from that place within you, but it doesn’t have to. It is an assumption people make that the recognition of something within yourself that you want to change, is inherently self-rejecting. And this assumption is not correct. You can in fact recognize something within yourself that you want to change and change it, in a way that is self-loving and self-supportive. There is a difference between change being motivated by you being FOR all parts of yourself and change being motivated by you being AGAINST a part of yourself. 
In a given situation, it might be self-loving to do either. It might be loving to embrace yourself the way you are, therefore not changing the way you are. And it might be loving to change yourself to experience an improvement. It may even be self-loving to do a little of both.
Here is an example of what I mean. Simon grew up with his grandmother. She raised him to be super passive, nurturing and kind. To do this, she punished him for any and all of his aggressive tendencies, until he was effectively able to suppress them himself. The problem is, in this process she taught him to bury things like his assertion, his strength, his ability to say no and his inherently active nature. For Simon, the way he is, is harming his life experience. It’s keeping him apart from what he truly wants. The way he is, is causing him to end up in narcissistic-codependent relationships. It is causing him to do all kinds of things that pull him away from what he truly wants to be doing. It causes him to not be respected by anyone. And it’s making him depressed because he isn’t taking action to make things different. It doesn’t matter if objectively, everything is perfect the way it is, even in its imperfection. The self-loving thing for Simon to do, and the in-alignment thing for him to do, is to commit to self-improvement. Namely, to re-own his assertion, his strength, his ability to say no and his inherently active nature too. And this will change all kinds of things about him and also about his life. 
But let’s look at something else, Simon has always been an obsessive person. When he finds something that he is interested in, he becomes consumed by it and all his attention goes to that thing. People are bothered by this behavior. They say he needs to be more balanced and are upset that they don’t get more of his attention when he is obsessed with something. Simon feels really ashamed of this part of himself, but can’t seem to stop. When he is brutally honest with himself, he doesn’t really want to change this about himself. He loves the feeling of being totally immersed in something that interests him. It is also something that has served him very well because he has a job that he loves that requires intense attention to detail, something that only an obsessive personality could pull off. He just doesn’t want it to come with the social consequences. Simon decides that he is sick of putting so much effort into trying to change this about himself, because he feels so much shame about it. He decides that the in-alignment thing for him to do is to fully own and embrace that he is this way, and that it isn’t going to change. To do this, Simon engages in practices that one could say are more aligned with “you’re perfect the way you are”. Things like finding approval for his obsessive character and deciding that the people he wants around him are those that appreciate his obsessive behavior and aren’t hurt by it. And finding proof that he was meant to be this way, because it is so much a part of his purpose etc. 
Self-Improvement and embracing yourself as you are, is not a matter of either/or. You don’t need to be perfect to have irreplicable valuable. You don’t need to be perfect to own, accept and love yourself. You also don’t have to be perfect to be valued, wanted, appreciated, owned, accepted and loved by others. You don’t need to be on a self-improvement quest because you are not valuable or wanted or appreciated or owned or accepted or loved the way you are and thus, must become better, good enough or perfect, so that you are. If the question of whether you are good enough was removed from the question of: do I need to improve myself? Or am I perfect the way I am? What would be left then? What would be your motivation for changing yourself or for keeping yourself the way you are then?

The Covert Depreciation Pattern

Low self-esteem leads to all kinds of subconscious patterns that are damaging to the self and damaging to others. And one of the most damaging patterns that comes from low self-esteem, is the Covert Depreciation Pattern. 
When our own self concept is low, we don’t only fall into the behavior of not recognizing the value, goodness, worth, virtue, excellence, greatness, power, superiority, merit, importance and significance of ourselves. We usually also fall into the trap of not recognizing those things in the people, places and things that are external to us. This happens not only as a kind of projection of how we feel about ourselves, out onto the world. It also happens as a toxic protection mechanism. When we feel bad about ourselves, recognizing the value of other things, most especially the value of other people, causes us to feel even worse about ourselves in comparison. And so, we go to work subconsciously or consciously depreciating everything around us, so that we can feel better about ourselves.  
Simply put, the Covert Depreciation Pattern is when low self-esteem causes a person to devalue everything else. But there are two sides to this coin, and only one of these sides tends to be recognized. Let’s start with the side that is easier to recognize. And let’s consider this the active side of the coin.  
Because a person feels bad about themselves, they find active ways to devalue, diminish, cut down to size, disqualify, reduce, misprize, negate, disparage, discredit, minimize, put down and deflate something or someone in order to feel better about themselves and their own value. 
The second side of the coin, is the passive side of the coin. And it is so subconscious, most people never even see it.   Because a person feels bad about themselves, they depreciate the things they come into contact with, by virtue of association with themselves. Essentially, if anything is associated with them, they can’t think highly of it anymore.   Let’s look at two examples of this pattern in the same person. Let’s look at the two sides of this coin. Dianna was socialized as a child to be a good little girl. She was taught to be a pleaser and a caretaker. This process of socialization, taught her that so many aspects of her authentic self are bad and wrong and that she had to suppress, deny and disown them. Then, her father left the family for another woman, and Dianna made it mean that her father would not have been able to leave if she was valuable enough. This whole process left her with a core self-concept of shame. Deep down, Dianna feels terrible about herself. Now, in her adult life, when anyone around her (including her own children) tells her about their accomplishments, she immediately comes up with a way to minimize or negate the accomplishment, like telling her best friend that the reason her best friend’s fiancé proposed with such an impressive ring was because he had probably cheated. Or telling her son that the reason he won a college tennis match was because the better players on the team had been transferred. Or telling herself that the reason someone got selected for the job she wanted instead of her, is because they must have had insider ties to the boss. Dianna has made an art form of raining on other people’s parade.
Dianna also loves to give veiled insults and backhanded compliments. Essentially, an insult that is disguised as something else. Like telling her colleague that she “loves their haircut, it looks so much better”. The intention being to make her friend feel insecure about her hair having looked terrible. Or in a conversation at the dinner table with her daughter’s friend saying “You're not married? Nothing wrong with that, honey. You're a career lady.” When everyone knows full well that Dianna does not believe that a woman should put career before family, and definitely didn’t do that herself because of how much she disapproves of it. Or saying to one of her unmarried friends “I wish I didn’t have any responsibilities like you.” Which though it sounds like envy and even admiration, is her backdoor way of saying that she ought to be ashamed because her life choices are not admirable and don’t benefit anyone but herself, unlike Dianna’s life choices, which are both admirable and all about duty to others.  
On the other side of the coin, Dianna idolized a specific politician and did everything she could to support their cause, in the hopes of one day being able to meet them and befriend them. To Dianna, if this politician befriended her, it would prove that she does have value. But, low and behold, when the day finally did come that she had put so much effort into the politician’s campaign that she was brought in and the politician did make her a friend, she immediately started respecting and valuing the politician less. Dianna could no longer see this politician’s excellence and power. Instead, she simply saw this politician as human. What had happened was that because this politician decided to associate with her, instead of it increasing her self-esteem, it made her depreciate the politician by virtue of their association with her. If the politician kept her in their company, they couldn’t be that amazing. Subconsciously, in Diana’s mind, the only way for this politician to prove and confirm their own greatness, was to in fact reject her. And so, her commitment to the campaign went steadily downhill. And this politician could not understand why suddenly, Dianna had gone from revering them to behaving so casually apathetic towards them and towards the campaign. Of course, Dianna just made the excuse that it was because she was busy with other things. Unaware of course that saying so, was another covert move to diminish the importance of the politician and make them feel like she has more important things to do and more important people to do them with, putting herself above the politician.
She also did this with an exclusive club that she wanted desperately to join, again seeing her membership there to be a way to increase her self-esteem. But again, with as poor as her self-esteem is, the only way for this club to have maintained her estimation of their worth, was to have rejected her. Once she was accepted, she subconsciously saw that as proof that the club must not be as great as she thought. Because they accepted her, they were depreciated by virtue of association with her. And she simply stopped her membership and went on in search of a different club. One that was even harder to get into.
Both the active expression and passive expression of the Covert Depreciation Pattern are hard for people to recognize, because usually, rather than recognize what is really going on, most people just experience the pain of being depreciated. They begin to doubt their own value, goodness, worth, virtue, excellence, greatness, power, superiority, merit, importance and significance in response. 
The Covert Depreciation Pattern is a pattern that guarantees a person’s failure and also misery. This pattern pulls a person out of reality because it causes a person to no longer be able to see someone or something’s value, goodness, worth, virtue, excellence, greatness, power, superiority, merit, importance or significance. And a person can get themselves and other people into real trouble when they are not in reality about these things. 
This pattern destroys relationships and leads a person to loneliness. This pattern further enhances low self-esteem because when people adopt it, it causes people to not like them, and thus reinforce the idea that they aren’t valued. This pattern prevents a person from finding genuine self-esteem, because it keeps them fixated on tearing down other people and things to feel a sense of their own goodness and rightness and value, rather than to find ways to build themselves up. It also prevents them from feeling liked and valued because of how they build other people up. 
The Covert Depreciation Pattern is a pattern that everyone should have on their radar. The intention behind any thought, word or action that belongs to this pattern is one thing: To depreciate something or someone so that the person doing the depreciating feels above them, or better about themselves in some way. It is a zero-sum game in that it is a loss for a win. Because of this, the way to recognize it, is to get under any thought, word or action to what the intention of it is. What purpose does it serve? The WHY behind a person thinking what they are thinking, saying what they are saying or doing what they are doing, is everything. And that is where the attention needs to be placed.
When someone says or does something that causes you to feel devalued, diminished, cut down to size, disqualified, reduced, misprized, negated, disparaged, discredited, minimized, put down or deflated because of what someone said or did, ask WHY they did it. What was the purpose behind it. And wherever you can, you need to go ahead and ask them directly. To give you just a tiny taste of what I mean, ask them things like: “What was the purpose of telling me that?” Or “In your mind, was there anything constructive about telling me that?” Or “What did you want the outcome of saying that to be”. “Or, what did you want me to take away from that?” Or “What was that supposed to do for me?” or “What is the reason that your behavior changed from being so enthusiastic about X to being so misprizing about X”?  etc.  The more specific the question is to the specific situation you are in, the better. If a person did have a constructive reason for saying what they did or doing what they did, they will be able to tell you what it was. In whatever situation you find yourself in, brainstorm pointed questions that get the person to have to face and admit to the reason behind their words or actions. Any question that needles or shines a light on the purpose behind what they are doing or saying, is an interruption to this pattern.  
And the same goes for you, if you are caught in this pattern yourself. When you think or say or do something that causes you to feel bigger or better or more relief because it devalues, diminishes, cuts down to size, disqualifies, reduces, misprizes, negates, discredits, minimizes, disparages, puts down or deflates someone or something else; shine a light on WHY you said what you said or did what you did. What was your purpose behind it? What did you want the outcome to be? Just make sure to be honest, rather than to make a self-concept preserving excuse.  
There is nothing constructive about this pattern. It is not intended to serve a useful and beneficial purpose or create a positive outcome for the person on the other side of it. It happens when a person feels such a poverty of self-worth that they seek to steal a sense of value, goodness, worth, virtue, excellence, greatness, power, superiority, merit, importance or significance by stripping it away from another person or another thing.

The WHY Changes Everything

When it comes to self-awareness, one of the most important things to become consciously aware of is the WHY behind whatever we are doing. Most people are simply not consciously aware of the WHY behind what they are doing, even though their WHY accounts for a very big portion of the energy behind their action. And the energy behind an action is everything. Two people who make the same decision or say the same thing or take the same action, will have a totally different experiences and experience totally different results when the WHY behind what they are doing is different. If two people have different reasons behind why they want something, they will have a totally different experience and experience different results. The WHY even changes what you are a match to on a vibrational level. In short, the WHY changes everything.   
So that you can understand what I mean, here are some examples:
Carol has spent the last 3 months with a fitness trainer and has decided to be on a diet where she restricts both her portion sizes and what foods she is eating. The WHY behind Carol’s desire to do all of this, is that she hates her body. In fact, she disgusts herself. Because this is Carol’s WHY, the way she goes about losing weight is in alignment with being against herself. Her body perceives the decisions she makes and the actions she takes as being an attack. This energy behind what she is doing, triggers an inflammatory response in her body. Her lymph nodes swell. She starts getting frequent body aches. She experiences intense fatigue. And her skin has started breaking out in rashes and eczema. On top of this, she feels like she has to force herself through her workouts. She feels like her fitness trainer is there to whip her into shape. She dreads her time at the gym. She hates meal time and is developing food anxiety. Because the energy behind what she is doing is so resistant in nature, she is in fact feeding energy into the very thing that she dislikes. And so, she does not see tangible results. And she is primarily a match to two types of people when she’s at the gym. The first is other women, who are also miserable and getting no results when they are working out. And the second is what Carol calls “the beautiful people”, people who seem blessed with exemplary genes and who love to be at the gym and who cause her to feel even worse about herself. 
In contrast to this, Brooke has spent the last four months also with a fitness trainer and restricting her portion sizes and what foods she is eating. The WHY behind Brooke’s desire to do all of this, is that she is done with neglecting herself and taking care of herself is her new personal growth goal. Because of this, she feels like her fitness trainer is a huge support to her. She loves her time at the gym because it is time she is finally dedicating to herself. She has found some exercises that her body actually likes doing. Even though they are not the foods that she prefers, when she eats foods that she knows are good for her body, she feels like she is actually making progress relative to her goal. As time has gone on, she has realized that she has started to crave healthy foods, something she never thought possible. She is seeing tangible results. She has lost some weight. Her energy levels are increasing. She is in a better mood lately. And she feels more powerful in the world. She is primarily a match to two types of people when she is at the gym. The first is people who seem very interested in befriending her and having someone to either work out with or hang out with. And the second is people who started working out many years ago, and who have incredible results; from men who look like they have been perfectly chiseled by an artist to women who look incredible for their age. And Brooke feels like they serve as an inspiring reminder of what is possible for anyone who cares about taking care of themselves enough.
Here is another example. Trent is married to a woman named Jeannie. In his marriage to Jeannie, he takes care of her. He prioritizes coming home to be with her. He gives her foot rubs. He makes sure she has eaten and if she hasn’t, he feeds her. He does things that need to be done around the house. Jeannie is very happy in the relationship. She feels adored and contained. The WHY behind Trent’s behavior is that he likes the feeling of power and self-esteem that comes from being depended on and from able to please a woman. 
In contrast to this, Mason is married to a woman named Lacey. In his marriage to Lacey, he takes care of her. He prioritizes coming home to be with her. He gives her foot rubs. He makes sure she has eaten and if she hasn’t, he feeds her. He does things that need to be done around the house. Lacey is miserable in the relationship. She feels like she is drowning in pressure and is on her own. The WHY behind Mason’s behavior is that he wants Lacey to make him feel secure in the relationship. And he is convinced that the ticket to doing so, is to please her. 
The two very different WHYs behind what Trent is doing and what Mason is doing, lead to drastically different experiences for the women they are with, even though at face value, both are taking care of the woman they are with. Behind everything that Mason does for Lacey, is a take, rather than a give. Trent doesn’t need anything from Jeannie when he does what he does for her. He is truly feeding her with energy. Mason is doing what he is doing to get something from Lacey. He is in fact gaslighting her because even though it appears that he is containing her, he is in fact doing things for her, so that she provides him with a sense of containment. 
Because of the WHY behind what Trent is doing, Trent’s energy and body language is masculine when he is doing these things. Because of the WHY behind what Mason is doing, Mason’s energy and body language is like a young boy when he does these things. When Trent rubs Jeannie’s feet, she feels dominated in a sexy way and it turns her on. When Mason rubs Lacey’s feet, she feels like she is in a relationship with a minion, who is desperate for her approval, and it makes her angry. Trent does not have to be asked to do things around the house. He takes the initiative himself and as a result, Jeannie feels relieved and free from pressure. Mason, has to be managed to do things that need to be done. So, Lacey needs to tell him what needs to be done and even though Mason immediately does them, the pressure of those things is never off of her because she is the one that has to keep track of them and initiate Mason doing them. Mason loves to please her by doing what she asks. And does not seem to understand why Lacey is never pleased. 
People often avoid facing the WHY behind what they are doing because of shame. In order to become aware of the WHY behind what you are doing, you have to take the risk that you may not like what you see. You may have to admit to things about yourself that you and/or others might judge as bad and wrong. But you will pay the price of preserving your self-concept and so will other people. And it will be a price that ends up being too high to pay. 
No matter what it is that you are deciding or doing, you’ve got to become aware of and put energy into understanding the WHY behind it. Doing so will reveal so much to you. Most especially, it will reveal why you are having the experience that you are having and why you are getting the results you are getting. Your WHY is the heart of your intention. By directly facing your why, you may find that there are much better ways to satisfy your intention. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Why Your Intention is SO Important.  
Everything you decide and say and do serves a purpose. The purpose behind your decisions and behind what you say and behind your actions is everything. The question is, what is that purpose?

Accept Whatever You Are You NOT Accepting

Each and every one of us will find ourselves in a situation where we are in extreme resistance to what is. When this occurs, it feels like we are at war with what is. There is a constant tension in our being. There is a constant attempt to make what is, un-be. And to make what has happened, un-happen. We may resist and fight what is for years, yet fail to make it different than it is and, in the end, end up feeling desperate. And also feeling completely stuck. But all this can be changed by doing one very difficult thing: Accept what needs to be accepted. 
When it feels like you are at war with what is, you are not accepting something. The question is: What are you not accepting?
People often think that to accept something means to like something, to approve of it, to agree with it, to put up with it, to be easygoing about it and/or to tolerate it. But this is not acceptance. To accept something simply means that instead of pushing against something, you recognize it as real, valid or true. When this happens, instead of resisting it, you let that reality sink in. The power is then in your hands regarding what to do about it. To accept something, is to recognize that it is real, valid and true and to recognize that you can’t change the fact that it is real, valid or true. And once that reality has sunk in, it is in your hands to decide what to do about what is real, valid and true.
So that you can understand this better, here are two examples: Justin fell madly in love with Maren six years ago. They got married after knowing each other for six months and they had two children back-to-back almost immediately once they were married. Maren acts as if she is miserable in their life together. She is almost always furious when he comes home from work. Often, Justin comes home to find that Maren has simply put the kids in front of the TV for hours, while she does other things that she wants to do, like flip through fashion magazines and talk to friends on the phone and even, go out to the store, leaving the toddlers unattended. One year, they had already been to the hospital three times come march. Once because one of the kids nearly drowned in a friend’s pool, the other because the same kid ate an entire bottle of gummy vitamins, and the other because the other kid developed a very severe diaper rash. All of these injuries were because of Maren not keeping an eye on the kids. Because these three visits happened so close together, it caused the doctors to suspect neglect, so they brought in a social worker to speak to them. 
Justin is understandably furious. They fight all the time. He makes it known in these fights that he feels Maren is not a good enough mother to the kids. He now calls to check up on them multiple times throughout the day. And she has started going to therapy. The problem is, in therapy, Maren has realized that due to their religious upbringing, she simply had kids because “it’s what every woman should do when they get married.” She didn’t actually want kids. She didn’t even know it was an option not to. 
But when she explains this to Justin, he won’t hear it. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t want kids, she has them. She’s a mom now. Period the end and so it’s her job now to figure out how to be a good one. Justin goes to war with what is. He takes her to church enthusiastically every Sunday, hoping that she will see the light about the importance of motherhood. He enrolls her in parenting classes and buys her parenting books. He makes lists of things she can do with the kids during the day. He brings her to spend time around one of his friend’s wives, who loves mothering, hoping that this other woman will rub off on Maren. Nothing is working. Justin is at war with what is. He is in total resistance to reality. What is it that Justin is not accepting?  He is not accepting that Maren does not want to be a mother. And he is also not accepting that it doesn’t matter what he thinks is right, she will not discipline herself for the next 16 years against her own desires and against her own happiness to be a good mother anyway, because of a sense of moral obligation. Justin is trying to get something that is unworkable to be workable. 
Justin finally realizing what he is not accepting, and finally accepting it, is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But once he does, all his futile efforts stop. He realizes that any change he makes to the situation, must accommodate for this truth. Instead of spend the rest of his life trying to get Maren to be a good mother, he decides he has a few options. One is to involve his own mother or Maren’s mother in the childcare on a daily basis. One is to put his kids in daycare. One is to flip roles with Maren, so she is the one working and he is the one at home with the kids. One is to divorce her and to take full custody of the children and look for a good step mother for the kids. Though all of these options are not what he would have hoped, they all would bring some kind of much needed forward movement that was impossible to bring about the way he was trying to bring it about before. 
Because what Justin has always wanted, is a life where he works and his wife (who loves being a mother) is home with the kids, Justin decides that he is going to get a divorce. And he persuades Maren to give him full custody. He promises her that she can arrange to spend supervised time with the kids whenever she asks. And he sets out to find a new wife and mother for his kids and for the kids he plans to have in the future. 
Briggs has a habit of agreeing to do things and cancelling last minute, or just not showing up. For years, people have been getting really mad about it. In his social circles, he feels the tension of everyone resenting and not respecting him. And no one dates him for longer than a month because of his tendency to do this. The bottom line is, he is flaky. And he always has an excuse for why he was flaky.       
 But he can’t seem to stop the behavior no matter what he does. He attends motivational seminars about responsibility and masculinity. He does shadow work to find out why he is doing it, in the hopes that doing so, might cause him to stop. Through this process, he discovers that if he makes future plans, he never knows how he is going to feel on that day, or at that time. And he can’t stand the feeling of forcing himself to do something, despite feeling like he would rather do something else at that time. He has trauma around being forced to do the things his mother decided he would do, despite how he felt. But Briggs is at war with this aspect of himself. He does everything he can think of to change it. But nothing works. He can’t discipline himself. 
Briggs is at war with what is. He is in resistance to the truth of himself. Despite all his effort, Briggs hasn’t actually fully accepted that he is flaky, as you can see because he always has an excuse for why he doesn’t follow through on plans. He also hasn’t accepted that he doesn’t want to be reliable and he doesn’t want to have to follow through on plans he made, when doing so would feel worse than doing something else. Briggs just keeps on trying to change something he doesn’t actually want to change about himself. All he really wants to have change, is the way people act towards him. And he feels the only way to do that, is to show up, even if he doesn’t feel like it. 
Briggs finally realizing what he is not accepting, and finally accepting it, is both scary and relieving. But once he does, all his futile efforts stop. He realizes that any change he makes to the situation, must accommodate for the fact that he doesn’t actually want to have to follow through on plans he made, when doing so would feel worse than doing something else. He realizes that accepting this truth about himself, means that he will have to change the way he does things with people. Instead of try to force himself to follow through, he decides to stop guaranteeing that he will show up somewhere when he is invited. He decides he wants to live according to his value of spontaneity according to how he feels, rather than plan out his days or his weeks. He thinks this would actually be healing. He lets friends who can’t handle this drift away, and keeps friends who don’t seem to depend on him regarding what he is doing or not doing and whom are fine to spend time together whenever the stars align. He uses shadow work to face and resolve his resistance to the consequences of making this choice, after all, there are some things you can’t do and can’t have if you can’t follow through on commitments. Though there are some downsides to accepting this truth about himself and making changes accordingly, he feels so much relief. He is no longer trying to “effort” himself against himself to do what he doesn’t want to do. And his life has improved. He says he feels “in the flow” now. He doesn’t know whether he might change his mind about committing to following through with things in the future, he feels what he is doing is very healing for him right now. 
There is always a reason why we don’t want to accept something. We are convinced that accepting that thing will bring about something unwanted or put us face to face with something we feel we can’t handle. For example, using our previous examples, subconsciously Justin was refusing to accept that Maren didn’t want kids, because to him it would mean that the way he felt for her was not an indication that it would all work out, and that means, he can’t trust the way he feels towards a woman. Also, he thinks it would mean that he made the wrong choices in his life. And it would cause him to come face to face with the very thing he vowed for his whole life to never do… divorce. And it meant that despite all his efforts, his kids would have emotional problems no matter what in life, because of their difficult relationship with Maren and he could do nothing to prevent it. And it meant the dream he had built for their life together, would go up in smoke. Justin didn’t feel like he could deal with the emotions that experience would bring up within him. 
And subconsciously, Briggs was refusing to accept that he is flaky and accept that the root of his flakiness is that he doesn’t want to be reliable and he doesn’t want to have to follow through on plans he made, when doing so would feel worse than doing something else. He was doing this because to him, it meant that he is all the things that people think about him when he flakes on them. That he is pathetic, immature, weak and lacks discipline. Also, he would have to face and choose and own the consequences of not following through on plans. One of these things being the loss of certain friends. And another being that he would have to find a way to make money on his own time, rather than stepping into a prestigious job where he is required to show up on a schedule. And with this, came facing the disapproval of his status- oriented mother. 
Accepting what is, is not easy. Especially when it comes to accepting whatever it is that we are not accepting. In fact, it can be one of the most painful things we ever experience. When you won't accept something, it is because of what it would mean and what you don't trust yourself to be able to face and deal with. Which is why it is so important to ask yourself “If I were to accept (fill in the blank with something you’re terrified to accept) why would that be so bad, or what would it mean?”       
Even though it is so hard to do, accepting the thing that you are not accepting is the game changer you are looking for. Despite how bad it hurts; it will get you un-stuck. It will change what you decide to do. It will make it so that any action you take, is so squarely in reality, that it will bring about actual results and actual movement towards improvement.   
In any given situation, there may be one big thing you are not accepting, or there may be multiple things you aren’t accepting. Usually, you know in your heart what it is that you aren’t accepting. It’s the reality that you keep trying to push down and reject and deny and change and talk yourself out of and avoid and disprove. It’s the thing you don’t want to have be the reality, even though it keeps haunting you from the inside. But it is always an option if you can’t put your finger on what you aren’t accepting, to involve other experts and/or other friends. And to ask them what it is that they think or feel like you are not accepting.
Staying stuck in pain because of what you are not accepting, is a terrible way to spend your life. For this reason, you would benefit by watching five of my other videos in addition to this one. The first being “Reality”. The second being “Why You Should Know and Accept the Truth, Even if it Hurts”.  The third being “The Truth About Accepting Someone for Who They Are”. The fourth being “Are You Pushing Against the Past?” And the fifth being “The Secret to Overcoming Your Problems” which is about the process of exaltation.    
I’m going to finish this article by saying it again, when it feels like you are at war with what is, you are not accepting something. The question for you to ask yourself is: What am I not accepting?

Do You Deliberately Create Insecurity in Relationships?

Relationship security is the holy grail of relationships. In each one of our relationships, we are working to achieve it. Relationship security being a state of safety, certainty and confidence about each other and about the bond between you, which brings about a natural state of ease, relaxation and wellbeing. Relationship security is not something that just happens, you have to actually actively create it. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Biggest Mistake People Make about Relationship Security.
When we don’t have security in a relationship, it presents a real problem. The parts of ourselves that protect us from the other person come to the forefront and usually destroy the relationship instead of make it better. We enter into a state of distress, causing us to literally become unhealthy on a mental, emotional and physical level. Our self-confidence, self-worth and estimation of our own lovability takes a nose dive. Our energy levels, motivation and productivity are decreased. We default to dysfunctional behaviors and coping mechanisms to try to manage the fear and pain we feel. And the list goes on and on. 
At face value, it seems like all we would be doing is trying to create relationship security and preserve relationship security at all costs. But this is not the case. In fact, one of the most under recognized subconscious patterns is the pattern of deliberately creating insecurity in relationships.
There are many reasons why a person would deliberately create insecurity in a relationship, but every one of them boils down to a person feeling like the only way to get a specific need of theirs met, is to create insecurity in that relationship. To understand more about this dynamic in general, you can watch my video titled: There is No Such Thing as Self Sabotage.
So that you can understand this better, here is an example. Cara has three very close friends. But she is ruining those friendships. She has a nasty little habit of having a breakdown every so often where seemingly out of the blue, she cries about feeling unsatisfied in the friendship and wants to go spend time with other people instead of spending as much time with them. This usually results in a four-way conflict where everyone ends up crying. The truth isn’t what Cara is saying, she doesn’t really want to spend less time with them and more time with other people, so why is she saying it? Because whenever Cara happens to feel bad about herself, or fears that people will get used to her, Cara pushes people away, so that she can make sure they don’t take her presence for granted. And so that she can test whether they will either not care, or whether they will pull her in. If they say things to pull her in and act miserable about the idea of losing her, she feels good about herself again. Her sense of self-worth rises. When Cara destroys the security her friends feel in the relationship, they react in a way that helps Cara to avoid her fear of being taken for granted. And that meets her need for self-esteem. Cara spends months trying to build relationship security, only to destroy it in a matter of minutes. And of course, Cara feels like crap when she does this, because she has to live with the loss of security in her relationship with her friends. But the reality is, Cara’s need for self-esteem and to avoid the feeling of being taken advantage of, is more important to her than the feeling of relationship security and is more important to her than whether her friends suffer or not.
To give you another example, Tobias has been dating a woman for a few months now. He has been working on getting closer and closer to her, and helping her to feel that she can rely on him. She has been spending the night at his house often enough lately that she decided that she would leave a bag with some of her toiletries at his house. When Tobias went into the bathroom and found the toiletry bag, he panicked. He felt furious and passive aggressively threw it in the trash. When she showed up later that night and looked everywhere for the bag, only to find it in the trash, all the security she felt with him vanished. She confronted him on it and at first, he denied doing it. But then admitted that it made him upset that she just assumed she could move something into his house. And just like that, all security they were building up, was destroyed.
What had happened is that Tobias experienced enmeshment trauma in his childhood. He wants closeness with a woman, but he also doesn’t. When he gets close to a woman, inevitably he hits a point where he suddenly feels like he is going to get swallowed up and suffocated and controlled and like his life has to be all about pleasing her. So, he destroys the security in the relationship and all sense of closeness to establish a sense of separation again. Doing this causes him to feel a sense of his own identity and boundaries again. Tobias’s has no clue how to have healthy boundaries and how to have both closeness and autonomy in a relationship. So, currently, his need for autonomy and boundaries is more important than his need for relationship security. And he is willing to destroy it to meet those needs.
Like I said, a person might destroy relationship security or create insecurity in a relationship for a great many reasons. To give you an idea of what I mean, they might do it for the sake of increasing their own self-esteem, to force someone else to pull them so they can feel wanted, to push someone away so they can establish a sense of autonomy, to gain the upper hand in a power struggle in a relationship, to force someone to do what they want and cater to their demands, to prevent people from taking them for granted, to deliberately punish someone or cause them to suffer, to be the one to destroy a relationship first because they think it’s going to end anyway, and they’d rather not be the one being left or being hurt first. To protect a secret they are keeping. To avoid the fear that when someone gets close to them, that person will decide they are bad and won’t like or want them. To try to force someone to stop doing something that is hurting them. To scare someone into meeting a need they have. To mitigate their feelings of jealousy. Or to cause someone to act in a way that creates relationship security for them. And this list could go on and on.
At the end of the day, if you are doing something to create relationship insecurity, you need to face the part of yourself that is getting something out of doing so. You have to look at the consequences of what you are choosing to prioritize over relationship security. The biggest consequence of course being that you will not be able to build security in a relationship. In whatever relationship you happen to be in, you need to ask yourself: What are the various consequences of not being able to create security in this specific relationship? From there, you have a choice to make regarding whether creating insecurity in your relationships is worth it, regardless of the short- and long-term consequences, because you are getting something you value more out of doing it.
So often, when we are engaged in a behavior like destroying relationship security for the sake of some need we have, or for the sake of protecting ourselves from something we are afraid of, we are going about getting a need met in an in-direct and manipulative way. And so, we have to realize that the door is open to meet that need we have or to protect ourselves from whatever we fear in a better way and in a much more direct way. 
Can you recognize the way (or the ways) in which you deliberately create insecurity in your relationships? And can you recognize WHY you do it?

Do Demons Exist?

Demons have been prominent figures in religions and spiritual circles and cultures the world over for thousands of years. To generalize, people conceptualize of them as malevolent beings. And in contrast to angels or spirit guides, they are thought to negatively influence a person’s thoughts and actions. As well as to bring about negative things. Yes. Demons exist. But they are one of the most poorly understood things in this universe and the story of what and who they are, challenges the standard narrative told about them. 
First, let’s define what a demon is. A demon is a being that perceives itself to be disconnected from and separate to the greater universe and all other beings within the universe. As such, it could be said that a demon exists at the opposite side of the spectrum from love. In the vibrational range of isolation, fear and powerlessness. The state of disconnection and the perception of separation from the greater universe (what many call God or source) causes a couple key things to happen. First, because it is so profoundly out of alignment with the greater universe, it causes the being to be unable to take in its energy directly from the current of universal energy. This makes it so a demon’s existence is dependent on taking energy from other things. Second, it causes the being to behave narcissistically. Being disconnected from something, you do not personally perceive a negative impact as a result of playing a zero-sum game with that thing. And so, you could say that demons are the masters of the zero-sum game. 
Some demons are far older than humanity. A great many other demons arise from humanity and are very much attached to humanity. And demons definitely have varying degrees of energy and power. A demon comes to exist when a being within a system perceives itself to be powerless relative to what it needs and what it wants. And when it perceives the other elements of that system that it is a part of, to be against its needs and wants (and therefore its best interests). And so, instead of loved, it feels harmed. Instead of unified, it feels disconnected. And it decides to separate itself further by pushing away and becoming oppositional to what it perceives to be its adversary, only this time that adversary is the system of the universe at large and the other beings within that system. From there, unencumbered by the rule of not harming others, it begins to get its needs met in whatever way is most effective. And that way is usually harmful in some way to others. 
You could come to understand demons through the very simple act of understanding narcissism and codependency within the human race. If you want to learn more about this, you can watch my videos titled: “Narcissism” and also “The Truth about Narcissism and Codependency.”
So that you can grasp the concept of demons, I will tell you the origin story of a well-known and very specific demon that originated from humanity. This demon is Ba’al. Around the time that people started to settle land, in early agricultural societies, the ruling classes began to see land ownership as a way to hold onto and increase their power and wealth. So many men wanted to own land. But so many men felt powerless to do so. Ownership was their ultimate desire. But they felt prevented from it, by other men. So many men formed and shared thoughts, ideas, and concepts about their desired identities and outcomes regarding land ownership (and later ownership of desired things in general) that they began to force a materialization of their sustained idea. Those thoughts took on a life of their own. They had created a thought-form, a demon. 
Originally, this demon’s name was Sarru. A manifestation of the human ego’s relationship to ownership. Then, an ancient king overthrew an ancient Sumerian emperor. And when this emperor died, his thought-form was supercharged with unfinished business in the form of retaining the kingdom which he believed was rightfully his… Again, unfinished business within the theme of ownership. His desire to reclaim his kingdom made him a perfect match to the demon Sarru. Sarru and this emperor entered into a contract whereby Sarru would assimilate the thought-form of this emperor, becoming even more powerful and materialized in exchange for his participation in the re-claiming of the kingdom. It was soon after this assimilation that his name changed to Ba’al. 
Ba’al’s superpower is ownership. And his desire for ownership is never quelled. This thought-form was imbued with that perception that emanated from the collective consciousness from which it was born, including things like the individual power of personal accumulation. Slavery. The ability to control the weather, so as to have the power to produce the most fruitful crops. Supreme fertility. The power to overthrow other powerful men and take what was theirs. Adversarial relationship as a method to build wealth and increase one’s own property and power etc. Ba’al began to form contracts with living people. Granting them power to increase their ownership, and what he got in return was to rule through their rulership. To own through their ownership, as well as the right to feed energetically off of any and all resources that belonged to them. Ba’al was behind the building of Sargon of Akkad’s empire. And so many empires and dynasties after him. He was also behind the breaking of so many empires when men wished to form their own independent kingdoms. In fact, he was behind the breaking up of many an empire he helped to originally build. 
Ba’al is a strong enough thought-form that he is often behind the building of empires. But I have seen Ba’al form contracts even with children looking to rule over their schoolyards and members of HOAs looking to control what can and can’t happen in their neighborhood. And businessmen who are serious about acquiring other businesses. So, just one example of a contract with Ba’al might be as follows: Imagine that someone feels powerless to owning their own home. And then, one of their relatives who owns a home is about to die. Ba’al may attach to this person’s energy field and influence this person with the ability to garner the favor of others (remember that this thought-form has only gained more and more power to garner favor from every person who has interacted with him, many of whom possessed this ability as a kind of innate super power). And with this contract, this person is now much more effective at using the power of gaining favor to persuade the dying relative to leave their house to them, rather than to other members of the family.       
What makes people a match to Ba’al is their willingness to play a zero-sum game to increase their ownership. And there are a great many ways that a person could increase their sense of ownership that are manipulative and that cause harm. 
What is important to understand is, though human suffering in and of itself can be a motivation for a demon, specifically because human suffering might be a roundabout way of fulfilling a specific need they have, a demon is not looking to cause harm. They are perfectly fine to get a need met with no harm caused. But they get their reputation from their willingness to cause harm in order to get a need met. 
It is also important to understand that only some demons are traditionally scary. What I mean by this is one demon, the one that we would call traditionally scary, might be a manifestation of horror. That demon might be the thought-form of a person who was horribly abused in a human life and whom identified power with their abuser. This demon might attach itself to the human biofield of a person who is also in an abusive situation, so as to imbue them with the capacity to use horror to intimidate and frighten other people away, thus ensuring their safety; something they feel powerless to get in a direct way. And in exchange, that demon can experience improvement to its own trauma through a kind of externalized power over the abuser dynamic. 
Another demon might be a thought-form that is the materialization of the desire for support that is built up in a family line across several generations of women. This demon may be something that lends energy to a mother in this family line to employ strategies like victim control dramas and guilt to keep her daughter powerlessly enmeshed and force her to stay in the role of caretaker, no matter the consequences to the daughter’s mental and emotional health. And this demon will not be experienced as scary. Rather, it will be experienced as toil and being held back.  
I find it amusing when people worry about demons and demonic influence. Firstly, because demons are not rare. In fact, people are crawling with demons in the same way that they are crawling with spirit guides. Most people on earth have at least one, if not many demonic contracts. What I mean by a demonic contract is that most people have a specific need that they are getting met through the assistance of a demon. This is usually a subconscious transaction that is taking place. And a transaction that though it is serving them in some way, is also causing them and others harm.        
And second, because people need not worry about possession or demonic influence any more than they need to worry about feeling powerless to getiting their needs met directly. And any more than they need to worry about their own willingness to playing zero sum games. Because it is these things that make them a match to demons, to demonic influences and to demonic contracts.
If you don’t want to be a match to demonic influence or demonic contracts, it’s very simple… don’t act like one. And use your free will and your power of choice. When people worry about demons, they seem to think that it is possible to be influenced or possessed by one, regardless of what you are thinking and doing. And the reality is, it isn’t. Demons do not have the power of assertion. People are perfectly capable of playing a zero-sum game, regardless of the presence of demons or lack there of. What I’m saying is, whatever it is, the demon didn’t make you do it. Demons can’t take away free will. And the demon is simply an amplification of a dynamic that is already occurring within you. You don’t need to worry about exorcism or banishing a demon, take your attention off of it. All you need to worry about is changing that dynamic within yourself that is making you a match to the demonic contract in the first place.  
For example, the person in our previous example who had a demonic attachment that creates horror does not need to focus on getting rid of their demon. What they need to focus on, is resolving their own feelings of powerlessness to the cruelty of others. And this includes coming up with direct strategies for creating safety. If they are able to meet their need for safety in another way, there is no opening for the demonic attachment to occur. When the preconditions for this “contract” remain, that hook is stronger than any banishment or exorcism technique. Besides, if that pre-condition still exists, even if you were somehow able to get rid of one demon, another one will take its place. And I will give you a tip. Your greatest vulnerability to demons, is your most desperate needs and desires.  
The lesson of demonic entities is, step out of the patterns of determinism you are stuck in. There is no source of evil. We are the ones that are keeping them manifested and active.     
Black and white thinking leads you straight to ignorance when it comes to demons. People love to think of demons as bad and evil and wrong and malevolent. But this is such primitive thinking. Demons are not the malevolent spirits that you have been taught that they are. The reason behind what they are doing, however harmful, is always well intentioned. Every demon has what we would judge as positive attributes. In fact, you would be lucky to have them and their medicine in your life. They have immense value. But remember, anything of value may be used for the benefit of self and others or to the detriment of self and others. To generalize, the value inherent in each demon is being used as some kind of detriment to something. But believe it or not, this can change. 
It might be interesting for you to know that many demons are assimilating at this time. Many are awakening and are re-connecting to the rest of the universe so as to take their place of alignment and symbiosis within the universal system and directly with certain people. They do not genuinely want to be separate from the universe and the beings and things that make up this universe. Did you hear that? Even certain demons are done with the zero-sum game and the pain they are in, being separate. In fact, some of them are appalled by human behavior. 
And as for those demons who are not choosing to assimilate or who don’t even know it is an option, they are not the enemies of Source or God. They are not the enemies of expansion. Demons cause an amplification. Some people need things to manifest or to become clearer or to get worse in order for them to awaken or to make a different choice. For example, let’s imagine that a man has a demonic attachment that is enabling him to control other people. As that control amplifies and amplifies, he will experience the contrast inherent in control. Not only will the positive elements of that control amplify, but so will the negative elements. So, perhaps one day, a negative amplification is that his wife and kids leave him. He is now totally alone. That experience might just be the thing that causes him to decide that connection is more important to him than control and this might lead him to learn about mastering relationships. And this might change his entire life for the better. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: The Lesson of Christ and Lucifer (Integrate Your Ego).  
The most powerful thing you can do with regards to demons, is to stop demonizing the demon. Stop giving away your power by blaming things on them. Instead, own them as you. Integrate them as your own shadow. That’s exactly what they are. Anything else, is scapegoating. And don’t forget, there is always gold in the shadow. Instead of blaming the thoughts you have as thoughts being created by them, own them as your thoughts. Instead of blaming your urges on them, own them as your urges. Don’t blame your actions on them. Those are your actions. Don’t point at them as the reason you could do what you did to someone. Own your own willingness to harm someone, including yourself, for the sake of you getting what you want. Demons are the amplification of people’s disconnection and therefore, narcissism. You don’t need to do anything about demons. You need to do something about your own disconnection and your own narcissism. Contracts with demons originate from the perception of powerlessness. To not be a match to a demonic contract, you need to meet your needs in a straightforward and symbiotic way.

When Enough is Enough – Deciding to Let Pain Go

Each and every one of us experiences painful things over the course of our lives. And no one can deny that some of us experience far more than others do. Sometimes enough that it should stop a human heart, and the fact that your heart keeps beating just the same, feels like its own source of pain. Pain can be something that just accumulates and accumulates. With too much accumulation, you become deeply unwell on an emotional level, on a mental level and on a physical level. You become spiritually out of alignment as well. And so, it is critical to let go of the pain. And you can decide to do so, once you are “done” with the pain.
Let me explain the concept of being ‘done’ with pain. Being done with pain isn’t being done with it because you are avoidant of it. It isn’t escaping, suppressing, denying and disowning it. If this was what being “done” with pain was, everyone would be done with pain the second it started because no one wants to be in pain.  
Being truly done with pain means that you have acknowledged and processed it. What I mean by this, is that you have looked directly at it, felt it, accepted it, owned it, and learned/grown from it. You have found some personal empowerment relative to the situation that is causing you pain. And you have gotten to the point that enough is enough, holding onto it is no longer serving you. So, it is time to let it go and release it. 
When you hear this, some of you may feel resistance to this idea welling up within your body. There is always a good reason for this resistance. Inherent in that resistance is the very resistance that you have to letting go of your pain. Maybe it is your resistance to letting go of pain in general. Or maybe it is your resistance to letting go of your pain relative to something very specific that you are currently struggling with. You can’t and should not bulldoze through that resistance. Instead, you should face and resolve that resistance directly. The best way to do this, is to work directly with the part of you that is in resistance to letting go of your pain. You can do this with parts work. To learn how to do parts work, you can watch my video titled: What is Parts Work and How To Do It. Your goal here is to question this part and to let this part of you that is in resistance to letting go of the pain express as much as it wants. And seek to understand it as deeply as possible. You want to get its full truth. Within its truth, is the key to what needs to be resolved or what it’s going to take for you to let go of the pain you are carrying. 
There are so many reasons why someone would be in resistance to letting go of the pain they are carrying within them. Here are just some examples…
We may feel like if we let go of the pain we are carrying, we are letting other people off the hook. And like other people will not “get” how much they hurt us. And that if we do that, they will never change and may hurt us again. We can’t live with the idea that people can just get away with the things they do to damage or destroy others.   We may feel like letting go of pain or moving forward as a result of doing so, is a form of self-betrayal. We may feel like holding on to pain is a form of staying connected with or staying true to someone or something that we love and therefore, feel like we are betraying them or leaving them behind or are losing them even more by letting go of pain. We might feel like pain is the only thing that is real and that we can count on, so we may use it to keep ourselves safe and stabilize ourselves. We may use it to prevent ourselves from getting our hopes up in a situation where we feel it will only be dashed. To understand this more in depth, you can watch my video titled: Building Walls to Keep Pain In.    We may be holding onto the pain because being in pain in some way enables us to get a need met that we feel we can’t get met any other way.  We may be holding onto the pain because we have not yet learned how to avoid that same kind of pain from repeating in the future, and we feel like holding onto the pain will help us to prevent re-experiencing it.  We may be holding onto the pain because we feel we need something very specific to be able to move forward and to get over something, and we have yet to experience that specific thing.  We may be holding onto the pain as a motivating force and be afraid that without that pain we will lack the energy necessary to accomplish something important to us.  We may be holding onto the pain because we need to make a difficult change that we fear we won’t make without that pain being there.  We may be holding onto the pain because we don’t trust ourselves not to do something again, unless we have that constant reminder of the pain. We may be holding onto pain because it is the only thing that makes us feel like we are a good person. The pain may be something we use as a form of self-punishment, that we are convinced is keeping us good and is keeping us right. We may be holding onto our pain because we are using it as a substitute boundary against something that is a “no” for us. And this list could go on and on and on. When it seems like you or someone else won’t let go of pain, or something that you judge as painful (such as a behavior or a strategy or a belief or whatever it is) it is because that person believes that regarding whatever situation they are in, they will be in MORE pain without it. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: People Are Not Attached To Their Pain. 
Acquaint yourself with your specific resistance to letting go of whatever pain you are carrying. And see if you can resolve that resistance. 
Pain serves a very important purpose. To learn about this, you would really benefit by watching my video titled: The Meaning of Pain. It is critical to understand this, rather than to stay in the primitive, black and white mentality that pain is bad. But let’s turn our attention back to letting go of pain. Provided that you have acknowledged and processed your pain… You can decide to let pain go. So, for the sake of awareness, I want you to ask yourself the question: What is it going to take for me to let go of the pain and stop carrying it inside me as I move forward in life? You can pause this video and sit with this question, as well as whatever answer arises in response to it, for as long as you want.  
A little-known truth is that you can choose with your free will to dump pain or to release it from your being. It can be compared to the way that you can choose with your free will to relax your muscles. It is an absolute guarantee that you have seen someone do this in your lifetime. But seeing as how I can’t “tooth fairy” myself into your living room and show you an image of when that was specifically in your life experience, I’ll give you a couple of movie references. In the movie, Forest Gump, in a very dramatic ocean scene, Lieutenant Dan faces his pain relative to God for the way his life went. And once he has done that, we see him let go of his pain completely. He isn’t stuck on it and it isn’t stuck inside him anymore. And in the movie Love Actually, pretending to be a carol singer, the character Mark declares his love for Juliet, knowing that what he needs to move forward past the pain, is to tell the truth. And he realizes it’s time to be done with the pain of not being able to have her, because she is married to his best friend. So, he decides right then and there to let go of the pain. 
It benefits a lot of people to do a meditation or visualization specifically of letting go of the pain when they decide to do this. It also helps some people to perform a ritual around letting go of the pain (maybe it’s a specific pain). 
When a person truly lets go of the pain they are carrying, they do not forget the pain they felt. They do not forget what happened. What is very different is that they aren’t carrying it anymore. They don’t feel “traumatized” anymore. They have changed their minds and their lives in response to it, using the pain to become more and to become better. They feel open. Open to different and new experiences. To starting fresh. There is a lack of tension within them. There is an empowerment you can feel. And most especially, there is a ‘letting in’ of positive things. 
There is such a thing as “readiness” to let go of the pain that you are carrying. That readiness is about acknowledging and processing your pain. And that readiness is about the specific contents of your resistance to letting go of the pain. Most people are ready to let go of their pain when they have hit a dead-end regarding processing their pain and a dead end relative to how much they can extract from their pain… Whether that thing they needed to extract was some personal truth or some understanding of what they want in their life or some awareness they needed to have or something they needed to accept or some benefit they got from keeping their pain.          
 Because we have made pain bad and wrong and because we don’t want to be in pain or see other people in pain, once we know that it is possible to let go of pain, we run the risk of expecting people to just do this, and shaming them for it when they don’t… Telling them that they are “attached to their pain”. The reality is that working through our pain, and helping someone to work through their pain, is a far faster way of getting to the point where we (or someone else) are ready to let go of our pain. But sometimes, you are at a dead end regarding your pain because the only next step there is, is to consciously decide that enough is enough. To decide it is time to stop carrying it with you… Time to leave it behind you… Time to release it from yourself… Time to give its energy over to the universe to recycle… Time to let it go.

It’s Time to Break the Current Relationship Paradigm

Almost everywhere that you go in the world, people have a very rigid mentality about how relationships should look. And what a person should and shouldn’t do in order to have those relationships. Those relationship models or paradigms that exist in the culture that we are born into and that we are a part of, are thought to be all that exists. Every relationship has to match it and anything that does not adhere to that paradigm, we either don’t even think of as a possibility, or we judge as bad and wrong… even deviant.
For example, for one person, the paradigm that they have adopted might be the picture of a perfect nuclear family unit. Which means that they think what is “right” is to find a significant other to form a monogamous bond with and get married and live together in a home. And eventually have kids together. 
For another person, the paradigm that they think is “right” is to put effort into becoming as good looking as possible, to develop an agreeable personality and to become a successful professional. So that someone will want them enough to choose them as a partner. 
For another person, the paradigm that they think is “right” is to have their parent move in with them once they are old and to become their parent’s caretaker. 
For another person, the paradigm that they think is “right” is to have different lives than your other family members have, but to come together at the end of the day to share food.
For another person, the paradigm that they think is “right” is to compromise in relationships. 
For another person, the paradigm that they think is “right” is the picture of living together in a commune off the grid, where everyone is equal.
Relationship paradigms can get us into real trouble, no matter what time period we are living in. But right now, humanity is in a time period where it will not work to stick to the current relationships paradigms that we are accustomed to. In fact, it is a big reason why so many relationships are just not working. 
Here are just some of the downsides to relationship paradigms.
They are not designed to accommodate individuality. They are a model that everyone must squeeze themselves into, and some people are able to do so, but many struggle their whole lives to do so. For example, in the 1950s, the relationship paradigm was that every woman should get married and be the perfect housewife. So, what are you supposed to do if you know that to be the right model for a relationship, but you detest cleaning and cooking. Or if you feel a burning passion to do something like scientific research? OR what if the paradigm shifts and the right relationships is suddenly a partnership where both people do the same things, such as divide up the household chores equally or have a career so that they contribute equally to finances, but you desperately want to be a home maker and focus on raising the kids and not carry financial pressure? Or what if the current paradigm is that only women and men should be together sexually, and you are attracted to the same sex. Or what if a relationship paradigm is that only tall men are desirable by women and you are 5’4”? These paradigms don’t change perfectly with the times. The world can change and society can change and things can happen and variables can change… which make the relationship paradigm impossible, but people still struggle to try to adhere to them. And suffer a great deal and make other people suffer a great deal because of it. For example, a country can suffer a war and so many men can be killed that there are millions more men than there are women. But that same country can still hold the relationship paradigm that each woman is supposed to be in a romantic relationship with one man. And one man is supposed to be in a romantic relationship with one woman. Statistically, this will never happen. So, if the relationship paradigm is maintained, millions of women have a doomed relationship life. And the increase of female competition dynamics will negatively alter the entire societal atmosphere.  Relationship paradigms become the way that we establish security in relationships and act as a crutch or a sense of false security making it so that we fail to actually master relationships and establish actual relationship security because of it. For example, we may hold the relationship paradigm that family is about being blood related. And we may hold the belief that being related by blood, means you are close and connected and therefore secure. When the reality is that someone could be family and be abusing you or failing to put any energy into understanding you or choosing not to be there for you when you need them. The fact that you are family, means absolutely nothing with regards to creating a secure relationship. The way that a person conducts themselves in the relationship with you, is what establishes genuine security.
Or for example, we may feel more secure in a relationship because the paradigm that we are adhering to is marriage. The structure of being married may make us feel like we have belonging, or like we will be taken care of, or like the other person isn’t going away. But as we know all too well, a person can be married and kill their spouse, or married and abandon their spouse. Or married and create a toxic environment of dysfunction. The structure of relationships should not be where we are getting our sense of security in relationships from. We should be getting it from the way a person conducts themselves in relationship with us. Their rigid nature quite often makes them an adversary to people’s unique situations and unique needs. They are intensely limiting. And this creates huge amounts of suffering. They prevent people from becoming creative enough with how their relationship life looks, to live happy, healthy lives. For example, people have so many various social needs, it is impossible for one person to meet all of those needs. And so, if a person’s current relationship paradigm is that they need to find “the right person” to meet all their needs, they will fail and they are likely to feel “starved” in some way, as well as deeply dissatisfied with their partner. And this will lead to mutual shame and lots of conflict.
Or, if we have a passion for something specific, but we hold the paradigm that we must be home to raise children, if we have them, we may fail to even look at the plethora of potential creative options there are for being able to have children, while pursuing that passion. We may simply give up our passion to have children and be deeply dissatisfied because of it, and do a terrible job at raising the children because of that underlying resentment of what we sacrificed in order to have them. Relationship paradigms don’t actually reflect what is objectively good or right or healthy. Relationship paradigms don’t just come out of nowhere. And as far as our species is concerned, they definitely don’t happen because they are “natural”. Each relationship paradigm had to be created and decided upon by someone (or by a group of people). And then taught to others for some reason. And then adopted by society at large for a reason. For example, when humans made the transition from a foraging species to an agrarian species, and land ownership became one of the most important things to people, and suddenly paternity mattered. Thus marriage was created. And its original primary purpose was to bind women to men, and thus guarantee that a man's children were truly his biological heirs. Through that marriage, a woman became a man's property. Women could not own property. Love didn’t even enter the picture of marriage until the Middle Ages. And it was hella slow to catch on. It didn’t really take root until the 1920s. The history of how and when certain relationship paradigms came to be established, shows them in context. But even if it might have been right or good at a specific time and under specific conditions, doesn’t mean that it is currently good and right and healthy. Relationship paradigms have a tendency of putting us in lose-lose situations. They often set us up to have to prioritize certain needs over other needs in a way that makes life satisfaction impossible. For example, look no further than the countless numbers of gay men throughout history who had to choose to keep their life and social positions and lose the person who they truly loved or to choose a life with the person they loved and lose their social positions and possibly be killed for it. Just because you think something is normal, does not mean it is healthy, does not mean it is right and does not mean it is good. And most especially, does not mean that it will work for you specifically. The time has come to break the current relationship paradigms. To break the molds. The time has come to design new and different creative arrangements. We are being called to re-invent how we have relationships. We are being called to change the way that relationships look. We are being called to do away with our rigidity regarding how relationships should and shouldn’t be and who they should and shouldn’t be with. 
Take some time to think about what the current relationship paradigms are… The ones that society holds and the ones that you, yourself hold. What do you think that each different kind of relationship should look like? And what do you think a person should and shouldn’t do in order to have each of these different kinds of relationships? Are there any kinds of relationships that do not adhere to those paradigms that you judge as bad and wrong… deviant even? Is there a relationship paradigm that you are struggling with because it doesn’t seem to work anymore? What has prevented you from throwing away that model if it doesn’t seem to be working for you? What has prevented you from inventing a new one? If you became really creative about meeting each one of your relationship needs, what might your relationship life look like?
Each and every person is being called to be intensely creative so as to customize the relationship sector of their life so that it reflects what is uniquely healthy and good and right for themselves and the other people in those arrangements with them; regardless of what other people may be doing or not doing. The structure of society will change because of it. And that change will not be a straightforward one that is absent of challenges. But those changes will improve society. And they will drastically improve your quality of life.

How Most People Think They Can Create the Right Relationship vs. How to Actually Create the Right Relationship

We want our relationships to match our preferences. We want to be able to say that they are good and that they are right for us. And most of all, we want our relationships to work. But most people alive today have a totally inaccurate idea of how to go about finding and creating that kind of relationship. And as a result, we fail over and over again. 
Here is the process that most people think will lead to them having the right relationship; the relationship they want. 
To become aware of the relationship you want, what kind of person you want and what you want in that relationship To find a model for that relationship, i.e., an example of someone who has the thing that you want. Or a teacher that is telling you what it should look like To copy or emulate that model or that person who has what you want To communicate what you want to other people and give them the example of the model you have found, in order to see if they are willing to also copy that model with you If someone is not willing, move on and get rid of them, so you can look for someone else who would be willing to copy that model with you If you and they are willing to emulate that model, it should work out The problem is, this is not the process that a person needs to embark on in order to manifest the relationship that is right for them. It will not work. It doesn’t account for who a person actually is, only what they are willing to try to be. It doesn’t account for variables between you and the people or model you are emulating. It doesn’t account for compatibility or incompatibility beyond having the same vision. You don’t even know if that model is what will work for you and for what you need. You only imagine it will. That model may not be the way to get what you specifically want; you only think it will. And it does not account for your own ability or lack thereof, due to several variables, to actually live up to the standard of that model. It doesn’t account for even awareness of the ways that you, yourself are an oppositional force to the very thing you want. 
This is the actual process that will lead you to the right relationship for you.
To become aware of the relationship you want, what kind of person you want and what you want in that relationship To become aware of what within you (beliefs, behaviors, actions etc.) is oppositional to the relationship you want To resolve the root of those aspects of you that are oppositional to the relationship you want, so that you are in alignment with what you want You will have different beliefs, different behaviors, make different decisions and take different actions because of this. Your conscious choices change to be in-alignment with the relationship you want You assess your compatibility with other people that you come across, most especially their compatibility to what you want You enter into the right arrangement with someone based on compatibility To give you an example of how this works, let’s look at Mike. Mike wants to be in a relationship with a woman who really respects him as a man. Using the first process, he finds a model for that relationship… a social media star who produces content all about divine masculinity and that man’s wife. He emulates this man and he sends all of this man’s content to the women he is dating. And he tries to behave exactly how a masculine man is supposed to behave, so that he can find a woman who wants to have that same relationship with him. If a woman fights back about it, he just gets rid of her and doesn’t call her again. But he eventually finds a woman who would love to have that kind of relationship. So, the two of them use that relationship as a model and try their best to emulate that relationship and do all the right things to try to have that relationship. But it doesn’t go well. Each of them fails to live up to that model. Each of them has aspects within themselves that undermine their ability to actually create that ideal relationship. And so, the relationship they are in quickly becomes something they don’t want. Very quickly it becomes a relationship where he feels emasculated and controlled by her. And she feels like she is in a relationship with a little boy, which she finds pathetic. Pretty soon, they are fighting all the time. And both of them are feeling like failures because they can’t seem to create what that social media star has with his wife.
Using the second process, in seeing the ways that he, himself is oppositional to the very thing he wants, Mike realizes that he gives off all the signals of weakness. He chooses controlling women and he has a pattern of flipping the polarity in the relationships he gets into. When he looks at this, he finds that he has to resolve the split between the aspect of him that wants to be a man vs. the part of him that wants to be mothered. And he needs to resolve the trauma of having never felt parented. He also needs to change his belief that all relationships are “my way or the highway”, which leads him to behave in co-dependent ways in order to stay connected in relationships and avoid the threat of separation. 
As a result of doing this work, Mike starts to assert his needs in relationships. He approaches different women than he would have in the past… ones that don’t have “my way or the highway” written all over them. His masculine part is now the part leading the part of him that wants to be mothered. He leads his interactions with other people with what he is truly confident in, which causes him to have stronger body language. As a result of all of this, he attracts different women and gets a different response from them as well. He assesses compatibility with new women he meets, rather than co-dependently molding himself to their preferences. And he chooses to ask the woman who he feels is compatible and who will respect him as a man, to be his girlfriend.
While watching other people’s relationships potentially will provide you with an idea of something that might work really well for you too, emulating other people’s relationships won’t work. The reason being that you are not them. You don’t have the same body, the same life experiences, you’re not in the exact same situation. You’re not subject to the exact same variables. There are so many variables between two people. Because the variables between you and them are not the same, all you are looking at when you see a relationship that works, is a relationship that works for them, given all of their unique intricacies. Their relationship in its totality will not work for you. But some element of what they are doing (or many) might be something that works for you too. But that is still no guarantee that you will actually be able to do those things just because you’ve decided to do them. Which is why when it comes to finding the relationship that you want, the most important thing you can do is to recognize and resolve whatever about you is acting as an oppositional force to that very thing that you want.

The Biggest Lie You Were Ever Told About Relationships

When you were growing up, you were sold an overlay by society… A pretend reality that sits over the actual reality. And the overlay that you were sold was the fantasy of a relationship with no contrast. So that you can understand what I mean, let’s define contrast. It is one of the integral elements of this time space reality. Contrast is the existence and the perception of polarities such as positive and negative, wanted and unwanted, dark and light, pain and pleasure.
The lie that you were sold is that it is possible to find a relationship (any relationship) that will not come with negatives, unwanted elements and downsides. In fact, you were led to believe that the right relationship for you, is a relationship that has no contrast, in that it is only positive and it only feels good. Instead of just hearing me say that, stop for a moment and really think about it. Try to recognize this overlay within your own expectations and within your own quest to find the right relationship.
As a result of being sold this lie, many people on earth are on a disappointing perpetual search mission that grows more and more painful with each relationship. And for many people, the minute they run into contrast in a relationship, they decide that the relationship isn’t right for them. Or that the other person shouldn’t be the way they are and needs to change.   
Overlays are very dangerous. Because they are essentially a game of pretend, they prevent you from living an empowered life. And they are one of the biggest problems when it comes to relationships. If you want to understand more about this, watch my video titled: Overlay (What Prevents You from Having a Real Relationship). 
So, what’s the truth? Buckle your seat belts. There is no such thing as a relationship without contrast. Every person and every relationship comes with contrast. This means, every single person and relationship will have upsides and downsides, positives and negatives, benefits and drawbacks, wanted elements and unwanted elements. Essentially, the same thing is true of relationships that is true about life. Incase you want to learn more about that, you can watch my video titled: The Biggest Lie the Self Help/Spiritual Industry Sells You.  
While dismantling an overlay is painful, this truth about relationships doesn’t mean you should sink into doom and think that this means you have to settle for what you don’t want. You should not simply give up on relationships being good and give up on aiming for improvement within your relationships. There are a great many things you can do, while still operating within the acknowledgement of this truth, to maximize your ability to find a feel-good relationship. And here are some of them:
You can consciously choose our contrast. We can take a serious look at what negatives and downsides we can genuinely say yes to and what negatives and downsides we can’t say yes to. The beauty of us all being different in many ways is that some of us have deal breakers that others of us don’t have. Some of us experience real pain with certain things and other people don’t really experience pain with those very same things. For example, imagine that you fall in love with someone who is committed to living and working in a place that you don’t like. One person could choose the contrast of being in a place they don’t like. Their expansion would be about finding wanted things and making positive changes that accommodate for that contrast that they chose. Another person could not. Doing so, would cause so much resentment and unhappiness that the relationship itself would unravel.
When your free will is involved in the process of choosing the specific contrast that you can say yes to, you will not feel like a victim to the negatives and downsides of your relationships. You will be approaching relationships from a mature and an empowered place. To learn more about this, you can watch two of my videos. The first titled: Why you should consciously choose consequences. And the second titled: Want To Succeed? What Pain Will You Say Yes To? With the contrast that you did choose, become as aware as possible of what that contrast means for you and become empowered around that. For example, let’s say that a woman actually chooses into a relationship with a man who plays lots of video games. This might come with the contrast of him being unavailable for blocks of time. Becoming empowered around that might look like filling up that time with other interests. Or establishing a relationship with someone else who can be available for her. Or asking him to take action to create quality time for them both, so there is more security and more of an emotional tolerance for autonomy. Etc. The goal here is to get on top of and ahead of the contrast you chose. Accepting the contrast doesn’t mean passively succumbing to it and just letting it be the way it is.  You can focus on consciously seeking out compatibility in each of your relationships. Compatibility is when two things are able to exist or occur together in a state of harmony and without conflict. If two things are compatible, their co-existence is beneficial and ads to the wellbeing of each of them. Whereas incompatibility is when two things cannot exist or occur together without creating conflict and without being a detriment to one or to both of them. When we focus on compatibility as the necessary foundation for our relationships, we are forced to naturally accommodate for the reality that every person and every relationship comes with contrast. If there is a high degree of compatibility in a relationship, you will experience much more pleasure and much less pain. The specific contrasts that you will choose, will be ones that you can sign up for and that won’t diminish your wellbeing. You will perceive the positive to be what is dominant in the relationship. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Incompatibility, A Harsh Reality in Relationships. You can focus on having many relationships and resourcing many different people. And you can establish creative arrangements with those people. You can operate from the perspective that there is a place for every person in your life, the question is what place? This might just require adjusting the structure of your relationships and the way you think that specific relationships should and shouldn’t look. Humans are a tribal species. People were never meant to get all of their needs met by one primary partner. When we stop limiting ourselves by needing one person to do and be everything in our life, we have more room within us for the negatives and downsides of each person. We also have more room to get creative with where people do and don’t fit into our life because there is more wiggle room when it comes to incompatibilities. When we are fixated on this one relationship and on that one relationship having to perfectly match all of our preferences, a great many things go wrong. Any contrast that shows up in that relationship, becomes unbearable. We fixate on changing that person to become exactly what we want them to be, and this leads to lots of pressure and pain for both people. This is very different than healthy growth. We start to slip into deprivation patterns as well as patterns where love means suffering.                   Knowing all of this, I want you to ask yourself the following questions: If I accepted that there will always be contrast in every relationship… That there will always be both negative and positive, wanted and unwanted inherent within each person and within each relationship… what would I do differently? 
If there will be contrast in every relationship, what contrast can I sign up for?

Double Down or Choose to Change

When it comes to self-improvement and life improvement, people have a very one-dimensional, black and white idea about it. As people, we think that when you see something about yourself that might be judged as bad or wrong or detrimental, the automatic answer is to change that thing about yourself or about your life. The thing is, this isn’t always the answer. 
You cannot create a life that is all good in that it is entirely free of contrast. After all, there is positive inherent in every negative and negative inherent in every positive. And everyone will have to consciously choose their contrast in this life. To learn more about this, you can watch my video titled: Why You Should Consciously Choose Consequences.
The truth is, when you see something about yourself or about your life, including something that might be judged as bad or wrong or detrimental, you are in a position of choice. The choice you have is to 1. Change that thing. Or 2. Double Down on it. If you choose to change it, you first accept that thing. You then put conscious energy into changing it into something you prefer. If you choose to double down on it, you first accept that thing. You then decide not to change it. Instead, you choose to consciously own it and strengthen your commitment to it. You then make any necessary changes to yourself and to your life around having decided to double down on that thing. 
There are a great many things that we can change about ourselves and about our lives. There are also a great many things that are not changeable about ourselves and about our lives. Maybe they aren’t changeable because of our values or because of our goals or because of what matters most to us, or because of our true desires or because of our purpose or because of realities we might have to accept, or because of the decisions we would have to make, or because of the effort we would have to put in, in order to change them etc. And therefore, sometimes, what is right for a person, is to double down on something rather than to change that thing about themselves or about their life. 
So that you can understand this concept, here is an example. Ivan is struggling to make relationships work. His past girlfriends all have the same complaint about him. That he is super dominating and controlling. That he always has to make all the decisions. And that they feel suffocated by him always telling them what to do. For another person that finds themselves in this position, it might be right to change this about themself. To work on their resistance to letting go of some control. To learn strategies for how to be in a more egalitarian style of partnership. But Ivan does not actually want to do this. Rather, he wants to want to do it. He feels shame about it, but he is happiest in relationships and feels most fulfilled when he is the one deciding and he is the one directing and he is the one leading and he is the one telling the other person what to do and not do. So, after much deliberation, Ivan realizes that what is right for him specifically, is to double down on his dominant nature. So, he decides to consciously enter into a dom-sub relationship and to live a dom-sub lifestyle both in and out of the bedroom. When he does this, what does change is things about himself and his life around his decision to double down on that thing. For example, he decides to integrate the parts of himself that feel guilty about this truth about himself. And he decides to seek a partner specifically within the dom-sub communities, so that he can be sure that he is meeting a woman who actually wants and is fulfilled by being in a subordinate role. He also takes classes on how to be a conscious dominant, in which he clarifies the difference between healthy dom-sub dynamics and abusive dynamics. When he enters into his first dom-sub relationship, he creates a structure of safety measures and agreements to ensure that his dom-sub relationship does not become an abusive dynamic. 
To give you another example, it has come to Miriam’s attention that she has a real issue committing to a career. She keeps taking classes to get certifications she never uses. And going off on outdoor adventures rather than committing to a specific job. She has gone to counseling to try to work through her adult responsibility issues and yet nothing seems to work. For another person, it might be right to change this about themselves. To use those certifications by picking a job and sticking with it. To face their fear around commitment to a specific career path. To de-prioritize those outdoor adventures. But for Miriam, this isn’t actually right. 
When Miriam starts sorting out her values, she realizes that one of her absolute top values is spontaneity. And another of her absolute priorities is nature. Society is very clear about what a person’s priorities should and shouldn’t be. And the reality is, Miriam’s values don’t align with those priorities. But, after much deliberation, she realizes that what is right for her specifically, is to double down on her values. And this means, she decides to stop trying to get herself to commit to a single career path, especially one that is indoors. What changes is things about herself and her life around her decision to double down on that thing. 
She has a long conversation with her parents and siblings to assert that they should never expect her to live a normal life and to commit to a specific career, like the one that they have always had in their minds for her. She does breathwork to release all of her painful emotions about feeling like she is letting everyone down and fearing that she will never be seen as successful by society’s standards. And all of the pain of realizing the things she will have to choose to give up as a result of choosing this path in her life. Miriam decides that she only wants to either work temp jobs or jobs that have a seriously high degree of variety and surprises inherent in them and only jobs that are outdoors. She also decides that she is going to consciously decide to prioritize outdoor adventures that she is invited on, as well as spontaneous impulses for outdoor adventures that she, herself has. And she decides to further commit to a social sphere of people who share the same values and have the same priorities. She sub-lets her apartment and buys a camper van to live in, so she can go anywhere, anytime she wants. She also decides that she is never going to have children because she doesn’t want to have to consider someone else when she wants to go on her adventures, many of which are life threatening. And this means, she will not entertain the idea of getting into a romantic relationship with someone who wants to settle down.
Because each person is so multifaceted and has such unique desires, goals, values, needs, purpose, previous life experience and personal truths, it is not possible to tell you what things a person should absolutely double down on and what things a person should absolutely change. There are also potential shadows inherent in deciding to do either. But some things to consider when you are deciding whether to change something or to double down are: What do you dislike about yourself? What do other people dislike about you? If you took away your concept of good and bad, right and wrong, what person truth would suddenly be ok to have then? What would you truly want? What does it seem like you can’t un-need? Is there something in your life where nothing you have ever done to try to change it has worked? What about yourself do you feel the most ashamed of, but have not managed to change? If you knew that there would be a person who would want exactly what you are afraid that no one would want, what would that thing be? What are you afraid you can’t change about yourself? What would you be beyond relieved that you don’t have to change about yourself? What matters most to you? Given that truth about what matters most to you, what can’t you change that you want to change or that other people might want you to change? 
Anytime something comes to our attention about ourselves or about our lives, we are by definition aware of it. Once we are aware of it, we can apply our free will to it. We can choose what to do or not do in response to it. We can choose to leave it the way it is, deliberately make changes to it or to double down on it, making accessory changes instead. And in some cases, even if that thing you are looking at could be judged as “negative”, doubling down just might be the right thing to do. When this is the case, self-improvement, relationship improvement and life improvement will all become possible as a direct result of doing so.

The Great Spiritual Conundrum. Attain What You Desire OR Surrender to What Is

Lately, a great many people have been asking me about the seemingly juxtaposed concept of happiness being a result of the achievement of what you desire and happiness being the result of completely surrendering to what is. I would venture to say that this is the current great spiritual conundrum of our time. The spiritual field is littered with teachers that teach that happiness is about one or the other. As you can imagine, this leads to tormenting levels of confusion.
There are teachers who teach that desire is the root of suffering. And that the way to become happy is to realize this and to remove yourself from the cycle of dissatisfaction and desire, so that you are in total surrender and nonresistance to what is. And there are teachers who teach that desire is the root of personal expansion. And that the way to become happy is to consciously use your desire to bring about what you want, knowing that what you want will always be evolving.
Most people look at concepts like this and automatically assume that one of these camps must be right and the other must be wrong. We are quick to join one camp or the other. And also, to flip from one camp to the other, when we decide that the camp we were originally aligned with, didn’t bring us to happiness. This is especially easy to do with this conundrum because both camps contain truths that are self-evident for all of us. And it seems, we can also argue against both camps with evidence that is also clear to all of us. For example, all of us know the pain of not feeling like we can get what we desire. And all of us know that once we attain what we desire, we aren’t satisfied, we always want more. On the other hand, all of us can easily imagine the dangers of failing to step into the empowment of making decisions and taking actions that make our own life what we want it to be; and instead, simply passively, apathetically and unnecessarily surrendering to things being as they are, no matter how terrible. All of us know that you can’t stop desiring; after all, even the desire to not have a desire is a desire. So, what should we do?
What we need to do is to see the reality that both of these concepts and practices have an important place within the picture of our lives. And both can in fact be complimentary and compatible to one another.
Let me explain, most of us on earth operate from the perspective that “if I get what I want, I’m happy”. And “If I don’t get what I want, I’m not happy”. We have decided that things have to unfold how we want them to, in order to be ok. And this creates a serious attachment to and identification with what we want. But it isn’t easy to get what we want. In fact, incase you haven’t noticed, it does not happen often. Reality (what happens in the world) doesn’t often match what we want. And in a consensus reality, we don’t have control over everything that happens. The probability of every moment of your life perfectly matching what you want all the time is so zero. 
Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, desire will never end. Even when you get exactly what you want, like a million dollars or the perfect partner, that’s ok for a hot minute and then you want more or you want something else. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, desire was designed to be that way. Desire is what brings things forth from the sea of potential into a state of being. There’s nothing wrong with you that it is that way. The reality for all beings is that the more you get something, the less you want it. Because contrary to appreciation, wanting implies the lack of something, not the having of it. 
Many people hold the belief that in a state of enlightenment, there is no desire. This is not true. When you are dis-identified with the ego, but still physically manifested, desires still occur. Just like emotions occur and sensations occur and thoughts occur. You are not without thoughts or emotions or desires. You are not without an ego. Instead, you are in a conscious relationship with your ego. It is no longer the foundation of your sense of identity. And so, you are in a relationship with the longing nature of the ego. But you experience desires less like they ARE you or like they must be acted on. And more like they are occurring Infront of you. You are witnessing them arise and choosing consciously what to do with them or not. You are not attached to your desires as they arise.
What does all this mean? It means that your happiness cannot and should not ever be based off of reality perfectly matching what you want.  And it can’t and shouldn’t be based off of getting what you want. Working on the outside to get what is external to you, to change into what you want is a constant work in progress and will never not be a constant work in progress. Happiness that is based off of getting what you want, or on the outside world perfectly matching what you want, is conditional as hell. And it’s a complete set up for misery.
Also, on top of this, problems will never, ever stop coming. Problems are the elixir of life… That statement is a koan in and of itself by the way and when you figure it out, you know you’ve arrived. But short of that much more transcendental meaning, problems are the very soil of growth and improvement. We are in complete resistance to what is and to reality when we think that there shouldn’t be problems, or that we can ever, and I mean ever, get to a place where there are no more.
And there is another layer to this… Each one of your preferences and desires comes from unwanted experiences that you had or are having. Your desires happened as an automatic result of the influences of other things. Other people. External circumstances. Ideas you had. Other places. etc. This makes your desire highly deterministic, until you step out of this deterministic aspect of desire with your free will. What you want is a reaction that arises within you, that you don’t even have think about. You didn’t choose it or decide it.
Let’s look at desire on a more metaphysical level. When you desire something, that desire is the emotional indication that you have given birth to an improved idea.  That improved idea holds a frequency. And your non-physical point of perspective now matches that new frequency the minute you desire it. So now, there is a gap between the frequency your temporal self holds, and the frequency your non-psysical consciousness holds.  There is a vibrational gap between you and what you want.  If you think a thought that feels negative, it is because that thought has a vibration, which separates you further from your non-physical consciousness and therefore your desire. If you think a thought that feels positive, it is because that thought has a vibration, which is closer to the vibration of your non-physical consciousness and therefore your desire. So, there are two ways to close this gap between the you that you call by your name and your non-physical consciousness; between you and your desire.  The first is to think thoughts and take actions that line you up vibrationally with it. This is the practice of conscious creation or manifestation. And the second is to release resistance to and appreciate the now. This is the practice of letting go, surrendering and appreciating what is. If you do that, your non-physical self joins you where you are. There is no gap between you and your non-physical consciousness and therefore, negative emotion does not arise within you. Over the centuries, though no one has managed to rid themselves of desire, many have managed to develop a dynamic relationship with desire to such a degree that they were no longer suffering.  And many have managed to appreciate the now to such a degree that they were no longer suffering. Long story short, the two camps of spiritual practices, have found different ways to close the vibrational gap that is at the root of emotional pain and pleasure.
When a person experiences the unwanted, they tend to push that unwanted experience away when they experience it. They resist the experience. This blocks their energy. At the very same time, they develop a subconscious attachment to and identification with what the experience made them aware that they would prefer instead. Most people want what they want as a mechanism of attachment and avoidance. To get out of this deterministic pattern relative to desire, the first thing we must do is to step outside of it. This is a process of disidentification with what you desire. You observe the desire as it arises within you, the same as you would with an emotion that arises within you or a thought that arises within you. You become aware of what caused you to want what you want. You ask yourself, is this really what I want? And you choose to let that desire pass through you and let it go. Or, with your free will, you choose to align with it and think thoughts and take actions according to your intention to bring that desire into a manifested state. 
All this boils down to the fact that though we all experience happiness as a result of getting what we want (on the rare occasion that it actually happens) we cannot base our happiness on that, any more than we can blame our desire for causing our suffering. The bedrock of happiness is to release resistance to what is. While consciously dedicating our energy to manifesting the preferences or desires that arise within us, that we decide to manifest.
Now let’s go further so that you understand this even better. It’s not true that you can only be happy if certain circumstances happen. You are limiting yourself to the idea that things must be exactly how you want, in order to feel a certain way or in order to see the positive, or in order to be open, or in order to experience joy etc. Most people are limiting their happiness to the manifestation of their preferences and to the manifestation of their desires. 
Happiness is not about getting what you want, it’s about resolving any disturbance inside yourself, that is occurring because you are in resistance to what is happening. Let go of the idea that things have to be a certain way to enjoy your life. The more open you are to the unfolding of life, the happier you will be. How do you resolve your resistance to (or become ok with) what is happening? You change your perspective and attitude about everything that is happening, so as to no longer be in resistance to anything that is happening. That in fact, puts you in a state where your happiness is no longer conditional.
But you can’t just “let go”. Or “decide to not be in resistance” or “love what is”. You can’t just suppress it or bypass resistance. You have to learn how to do it. This is a practice of actively working with yourself to relax, release, resolve and help the resistance as it comes up within you. This means looking at things in a totally different way. Accepting what is. Changing the way you see things, so that you dissolve your resistance to those things. Resolving the unwanted experiences and traumas that are stored in the being that are causing resistance. Looking at things in a way that causes you to see the positive in things. Looking at things in a way where you can fall in love with what is. Meditating. Practicing disidentification. Consciously relaxing etc. 
Rather than upsetting yourself about things that are happening, actively do things that cause you to feel less resistant to what is and better about what is. Learn to welcome and work with the moments that are unfolding in front of you, rather than resisting them and fighting against them as if they shouldn’t be happening; because you don’t want them to happen. If this is your practice, when you become disturbed, you don’t try to figure out how to STOP it. You don’t try to STOP getting upset. Instead, you consciously work with each disturbance, so that the resistance to what is, is resolved within you.
But doing this doesn’t mean that preferences or desires don’t arise within you or that you don’t do anything to bring about the manifestation of those desires… Still, while being in a state of nonresistance to what is, preferences and desires will arise within you. In other words, you can be in a state of nonresistance to what is, while still preferring peace in the world. You can still appreciate salt, while wanting something sweet in a given moment. It’s not that you can no longer recognize positive and negative or the negative inherent in positive or the positive inherent in negative. It does not condemn you to inertia. It’s not that by becoming ok with something, your desire vanishes. It’s also not that by becoming ok with something, that you suddenly accomplish nothing and change nothing in your life. Instead, your desires are not in control of you. Instead, the lack of resistance, causes you to take actions in the direction of what you want, without YOU not being ok. Without YOU being in pain. Essentially, when you do something, you don’t do something because YOU’RE not “ok” or because what is, is not ok.
Desire was never the problem. Desire never caused pain. It’s what we add to desire that causes us pain. What makes desire painful is thoughts like these: I can’t have what I desire.  I don’t deserve to have what I want.  I’m not good enough until I get this thing that I desire. If I don’t get what I want, I’ll never be happy. What causes pain is continuing to focus on what you don’t have or don’t like or don’t want after you have already given birth to the idea of what you do want. And most especially, what causes pain is the idea that you cannot feel good unless you get what you want or unless the things that happen perfectly match your preferences. 
People need to develop a much more dynamic relationship with desire. We need to engage with desire in a much more conscious way, rather than making preferences or desires the enemy. See desire as something that arises within you, against the backdrop of witness consciousness. Just like an emotion or a thought. See your attachment to the desire being your only way to be ok, as well as your resistance to what you don’t desire, as being the cause of your pain. See desire as what drives expansion. See that it will ever evolve and ever move forward and never stop. See that you will never get everything you could ever want, so that you never want more. See that you will always be in a place of dissatisfaction if your satisfaction is dependent on getting what you want or if it is dependent on the things that happen perfectly matching your preferences. But see the there is great joy to be found in the process of consciously bringing about what you desire. Happiness can be found in that process.
As you evolve, life unfolds, including your desires. You make decisions and take actions in the direction of what you want, but you can do so without that energy of suffering. Without pushing what is away or running away from what is. You came to participate in that process of expansion consciously. And accepting all of this, will make you even more effective at it… At seeing the right way, at making the right decisions, at taking the right actions, and at making positive changes. What changes, is that those preferences and choices come from a different place inside of you… A more objective place. 
I’m going to say this again, resolving your resistance to what is, does not zap away preference or desire. It does not inherently make you complacent or lazy or inactive or passive. You will have so much energy available to you in that state of nonresistance, that contrary to contemporary fears, you MUST direct it to something. You will still engage with what is. You will still make decisions. You will still take actions. In fact, you will have more energy to change things for the positive in your life and in the world. You will be compelled to serve and give to others. You will be much more of a conscious manifester. 
You are a co-creator here. You create the life around you. Your thoughts and decisions and actions bring about an effect. And at the same time, others are creating. And you have an ego that tells you that you are separate from them. This means you will experience things that happen as independent of you… As if you do not create the world around you. And so, the truth is both. You are creating what is and you are also experiencing what is, as it happens independently from the you that you call by your name. The more you go into resistance about those things that seem to happen independently of you, the worse off you will feel in life and the less effective you are at the process of conscious creation. There is value in both attracting and creating what is and also in surrendering to the experience of whatever is. Just like there is beauty and purpose for the ego. And also for transcendence of the ego.
You can learn to enjoy what is (surrender to and appreciation of what is), just like you can learn to enjoy putting your energy and decisions and actions into bringing about something (conscious manifestation of what you prefer). You will find that when your preferences and manifestations are no longer the result of trying to make the world something else, so that YOU can feel comfortable, your whole existence changes. Your preferences and desires either may or may not change. But they will absolutely come less from a place of determinism, and more from a place of free will/choice. You’re still going to be doing many of the things that everyone else is doing (hence the Buddhist concept of before enlightenment, chop wood carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water). But for a different reason. And what manifests in our lives or within human society, or in the world, becomes very different as a result.
You don’t have to somehow rid yourself of desires in order to let go of resistance to anything that is. You can practice being in a state of nonresistance and even fall in love with what is, while also loving desire and practicing the conscious choice to manifest or bring about the desires that arise within you too. They are not actually an inherent contradiction.
So, now it’s your turn… Look at and work to release your resistance to this very concept!

Do Angels Exist?

Angels are the supernatural spiritual beings that have captured perhaps the most attention amongst theistic religions and spiritual communities across the globe. Traditionally, they are considered to be intermediaries between God and people. And they are also traditionally seen as spiritual protectors and guides for people. Yes. Angels do exist. But the story of what and who they are is different to and is more complex than the standard narrative.
When it comes to discourse about angels, something that is challenging is that people use this word to represent all kinds of beings. For example, a person who is Christian might use this word to describe the specific spiritual beings that were said to be created by God to serve his purposes. Specifically, the beings that are named in the bible. A person who is Muslim might use this word to represent beings created from light. A person in the new age spiritual circles might use this word to represent celestial spirit guides.
So, let’s define what an angel is. An angel is a being that was created to hold an intermediary point of perspective between source perspective and temporal perspective. As they are between the physical and nonphysical points of perspective, they hold a very unique perspective… One that is able to align both temporal perspective and non-temporal perspective. They are the keepers of alignment. This is why the mission of angels so often revolves around keeping a temporal being, such as a human, in alignment with the bigger picture of the purpose of their life on earth. Angels know a being’s intention for their life. As well as their desires and their path of expansion. And they influence a temporal being’s life into alignment with those very things. Angels are one type of spirit guide.
Some angels, including the arch angels that so many people are familiar with, are guides for humanity itself, rather than for specific individuals. Some of them have been focused on humanity since the dawn of humanity. And each has a very specific way that they serve the human race, assisting the human race to stay in alignment with the original intention for their very existence, their collective desires and their collective expansion path.
The thing is, the form they take is variable according to who they are interacting with. They appear in whatever way gets the message across and is likely to be met with the least resistance in the being they are interacting with. This means that they are likely to appear in a different way to a holy man on a spiritual pilgrimage in mid fourth century Rome than to a native foraging in the Amazon Forest, than to a person sitting in a modern hospital in America in the year 2023. For example, some of the ways they may appear are as winged people. As beings of light. As orbs. And as deceased loved ones.
Angels are not actually humanoids with wings. They are much less ‘human’ than that.  They simply choose to project forth an image or associate themselves with an appearance that holds special meaning for people. For many reasons that you can probably ascertain without explanation, when you are interacting with humans, it usually works better to assume the image of something human.
So, you might be asking, why would they appear as a humanoid being with wings? Way back in history, many people associated God and heaven with being up and with being above. What was up and what was above was the sky. The only beings that people would have seen that could reach the sky were birds. Birds have wings. Because of this, wings were associated with God and the heavens and therefore divine power. People envied what could fly. They believed that if a person did what was right and virtuous in this life, living an ascetic existence, they would be given wings, which would allow him or her to soar to heaven. Because of this, wings were seen as what allowed something to ascend to the heavens… To everything that was better and more. To everything that was good and right and powerful. They were symbols that someone had gained eternal life, had supernatural powers, had reached heaven and had reached the perfect state of being that they aspired to.
This was only further enhanced in the days where messages were sent over long distances in human society via birds such as carrier pigeons. Wings became a symbol of messages from afar. Given all of this, the image of a celestial looking person with wings, was an effective and symbolic way of communicating to the people back then that they were what they were… An intermediary between this temporal world and the non-physical plane of existence; what the people at that time called God. And that they were also a messenger and guide. 
Some angels are and some angels are not able to take physical form. Those who do live an embodied form of life are called ‘Earth Angels”. When this happen, they bring their multi-dimensional awareness into this physical life and they do the same thing for other living beings as any other angel experiencing a non-physical existence would be doing. 
As a consciousness and as a group and as individuals, angels have A LOT of energy. They are being fed with energy directly by universal source consciousness and also by the collective consciousness of temporal beings (including humanity). Angels do not control what happens on this earthly plane. They are not playing people, places and things like chess pieces. They are participating in this consensus reality, just like we are. But from a totally different point of perspective. The reason that to us, it seems like they have more power than we have is because they hold a perspective which, depending on the angel, can accommodate anywhere from 5th to 11th dimensional awareness. Their perspective is not limited to the four dimensions where a person is typically focused. They can conceptualize and perceive anywhere from the multitude of potential life paths and time lines that could branch out from at any given moment in this universe. To being able to conceptualize and perceive of all possible branches for all the possible time-lines of all the possible universes. And anything in between. 
They are learning and gaining expansion from us, just as we are learning and gaining expansion from them. They are able to effect perception and they are able to influence things and events. This is why it is better to think of them as guides. Just like any other guide, they do not make decisions for you and act out your life for you. You are not a marionette doll on their strings. They don’t seek to make you dependent on them. They seek to empower you towards being able to achieve and maintain a state of alignment. And this means, they work WITH your free will. They want you to find a sense of self that is in-alignment. They do not want you to be governed externally.
Most people are totally unaware of angels. But when you are aware of angels, you are more open to their influence and to the messages that they have for you. Angels don’t just communicate through words. In fact, outside of dream space or out of body work, very few people have multidimensional perception enough to visually see them, much less to convert their messages into verbal messages. They mostly communicate through what people call “signs”. Things like certain numbers appearing and re-appearing, songs with specific lyrics that apply directly to what we are experiencing, rainbows, people that you “randomly” meet, ringing in the ears and synchronicities etc.
At one time in history, angels were more interested in visually appearing to and talking to people. But that has changed recently. Many of the people who wish to see them and talk to them, have a resistance to their temporal life and use spirituality as an escape from their temporal life. Many of them also have trauma involving other people and relationships and so, they want to see and talk to angels out of resistance to building relationships with other incarnated people here on earth. As you can imagine, this makes seeing and talking to angels against their best interests and out of alignment.
At this point in time, the best way to develop a relationship with angels is to operate in your life with the knowledge that the greater universe is always trying to communicate with you and “show you the way”. Therefore, keep yourself in an open and ready state of listening, watching, smelling, tasting, intuiting and feeling for whatever might come.
The guidance and influence of angels does not have to be seen or heard or felt in order for it to be happening. It is happening all the time, beyond most people’s notice.

Find Someone Who Has Compatible Trauma

Compatibility is such an important part of relationships; it’s importance cannot be overstated. If we were to define compatibility, we could say that it is when two things are able to exist or occur together in a state of harmony and without conflict. If two things are compatible, their co-existence is beneficial and ads to the wellbeing of each of them. When you properly assess someone’s compatibility, you can figure out what the right type of relationship is between you and them and you can figure out what the right relationship arrangement is between yourself and that person.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that compatibility is about sameness. What I mean by this is that people assume that they are compatible to someone if they are the same as that person. For example, if they have the same interests, opinions, strengths, likes and dislikes, goals, personality, priorities, beliefs, ambition, passions, philosophies etc. This is not true. Compatibility is more complex than this. Two things being the same might spell compatibility or two things being the same might spell incompatibility. Likewise, two things being different might spell compatibility or they might spell incompatibility. If you would like to dive into the subject of compatibility, you can watch three of my videos. The first is: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. The second is: Accept Incompatibility to Avoid Relationship Hell. The third is: Why Compatibility in a Relationship is NOT about Sameness.
If we understand that compatibility is not always about sameness, sometimes it’s about differences, we can grasp the idea that often, an important element of compatibility in relationships is about compatible trauma.
People often make trauma bad and wrong and therefore anything that is linked to trauma, such as a desire or a behavior, bad and wrong. What people fail to see is that almost every person’s purpose is backed by trauma. And trauma doesn’t only play a role in the dysfunctionality, weakness and problems of people. It also plays a role in the functionality, strengths and advantages of people. To understand this more in depth, watch my videos titled: How Trauma Plays a Role in Purpose and The Trauma Healing Paradox. Trauma plays a big role therefore in the compatibility or lack thereof between people.
As a result of experiencing a certain kind of trauma, a person has a certain thing they need in order to heal. They also have certain desires. They also have certain strengths, aptitudes and advantages. When two people come together, their trauma (and all the things that come from it) might just make them compatible to each other or it might just make them incompatible to each other.
So that you can understand this concept here is an example. The first part of this example will demonstrate how the traumas that two people experienced can make them incompatible. The second part will demonstrate how the traumas two people experienced can make them compatible.
Archer was completely ignored in his childhood. There was always something more important for his parents to be focused on. He was expected to play alone. He was not allowed to have friends over, because his parents did not want to have to watch their own kids, much less other people’s. And they wouldn’t bother to drive him to other kid’s houses. As a result, Archer was totally alone in his pain and struggles and totally alone in his goals and desires too. If he wanted or needed anyone for anything, it didn’t matter. This gave rise to a deep desire for importance. He wants to be prioritized. He wants people to be available to him 24-7 and to be “all in it with him” in his life. He developed an intolerance for the elements in other people’s lives that compete against him for their attention. This trauma caused him to chase importance by becoming an important person and by developing an absolute achiever personality. Archer threw all his time and energy into becoming important by becoming the best. Today, he owns a law firm that is looking to monopolize entertainment law in his country.
Lena is Archer’s previous girlfriend. In Lena’s childhood, she was expected to take care of her mentally ill mother at a very young age. Her mother was not in the right state to parent Lena or to meet her needs. And because of the pressures of making sure her mom was alright all the time, Lena didn’t feel free to play. She developed incredible skills for caretaking someone and supporting them. But this trauma gave Lena the desire to be free to do whatever she wants whenever she wants to. It caused her to struggle with responsibility. It made her want a life that is about herself.
When Archer and Lena came together, it was a total disaster. At face value, Lena would be good for Archer and vice versa because she has developed such amazing skills to support someone and he has all the money to allow her to not have the responsibility of work. But the reality is that Lena started to re-traumatize Archer because she didn’t want to be available to him or make her life about him and what he is doing. She wanted to make her life about herself. She just took his money and started traveling with it and going shopping and attending events, all things that she made a higher priority than him. He felt used and abandoned by her. And Archer started to re-traumatize Lena because he didn’t want her to go focus on her needs and desires. He wanted her to want to focus on him and his needs. He put pressure on Lena to revolve her life around him. She felt smothered and controlled by him. They both experienced a repeat of their original traumas. And due to those traumas, they are very incompatible regarding what they want and need in relationships and in their lives.
Sage however, is another story. Sage is Archer’s wife. In Sage’s childhood, she was constantly pushed away by her parents. They were very poor and worked all hours of the day and they found raising a child to be a burden on top of their already burdened lives. Sage could never build intimacy with her family and she never felt included by them. She felt alone in the world with no purpose. As a result, she developed a strong sense of personal responsibility. Also, an insatiable desire to be a part of something with purpose and included in someone’s world and life. When Archer and Sage came together, they fit together like peanut butter and jelly. Sage started to heal Archer because she jumped out of bed to focus on him and on supporting him every morning. She had no interest in being somewhere else. She wanted to be included in every little thing. There was nothing in her life that was competing against him for attention. And she made her whole life revolve around his. He finally had someone truly with and for him in his life. His need to be the priority and have the attention and focus was finally being satiated.
Archer started to heal Sage because he always needed and wanted her around and with him. Archer never, I mean never pushed Sage away. He would call her into whatever room he was in, and shut the door and pour all of his most intimate thoughts and feelings out, giving her the intimacy she’d always wanted. If he was ever away, he would call and text her constantly. And he involved her in every big goal he had, asking her to run errands for it and brainstorm about it. Sage was finally a part of something with purpose. She felt held so tight by him that all of her issues of feeling alone in life were gone. Her need to be included and have a sense of purpose and to be an integral, needed and wanted part of someone’s life was finally being satiated.
After seeing this example, you can easily see how trauma plays a big role in compatibility or incompatibility. Nothing creates conflicts in relationships like incompatibility involving traumas. So, it could be said that if you want a compatible relationship, no matter what kind of relationships it is, find someone whose trauma is compatible with yours.

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